Now that online summer school dates are being announced, regular school years are ending, and fall at home looks more and more likely, we have compiled a few tips on how to juggle being an at-home parent and an at-home employee.
The most important thing to remember during this time of quarantine and high stress is that you are a person working from home during a crisis, not a work from home employee. Remote work is a great and flexible way for some families to be together and work together. For others, it’s the drop in the pond that unsettles the well-oiled machine that is your family routine.
Make a Schedule and Stick to it.
Now that more time than most of us had prepared for has gone by, it doesn’t look like much is changing in the way of going back to a normal routine before COVID-19 at this point. Treating social distancing time at home as an extended vacation is not going to be sustainable in the long run.
Make a schedule with pictures on it depicting the family routine: breakfast at 7 am, clean up at 7:30 am, get dressed at 7:45 am, school at 8 am, etc. That way, you can get the kids involved and responsible for what they need to be doing at any certain time. This will also help you know where and when your children will need you, and let you schedule your work around the family rhythm.
Swapping “On-Duty” hours with your partner may also help. If one parent is an early bird, they may wake up early and get in a few hours of productive, child-free work time in the morning, and then they switch with the second parent after lunch so they can knock out some of their work during their child-free time.
Communicate with your Office.
Most likely, your boss or supervisors are going through the same kind of challenges. Be clear and direct with them about your specific situation, and when they can expect you to be available and free for calls and meetings. Setting expectations can reduce stress and open a line of communication that your team may be struggling with as well.
Set Boundaries with your Children.
Make setting up some working boundaries with your family into a fun craft! Make “stop” and “go” signs with them and explain that if the “stop” sign is on your door that they can’t come in and interrupt unless it is a dire emergency. If the “go” sign is up, let them know they can come in and keep you company while you are working!
Give Yourself a Break.
This is a stressful time to be a parent, an employee, and yourself. Give yourself a break and don’t worry about that extra hour of Doc McStuffins or video games. You need time to relax too! Transitioning from an office to working and living in your office 24/7 is hard, and you’re allowed to not have a perfect day every day.
Our offices are slowly opening back up according to the State and CDC recommendations, and we can’t wait to see all of you back in our office or in a video appointment. Schools and sports will still be requiring physicals and vaccines, so be sure that your child does not fall behind schedule. As always, our office is here for you and your family, give us a call at 540-349-3225 to schedule an appointment or for any questions or concerns.