*To all of you parents out there working from home…you are doing great! And thanks to Bose for collaborating with us on this sponsored post. All opinions are our own.
So much of life right now can be described as before COVID and after. At 11:00 pm on a Sunday night, I found out that my kids’ school would be cancelled for the unforeseeable future. It was almost midnight and without warning, I’d just learned that I would now be homeschooling my four children plus working 30+ hours from home.
One thing I’ve learned from this global quarantine is that we can handle more than we think. Now, I hardly bat an eye when a Nerf gun war is happening while I read through a contract. Here are some creative modifications you can make to allow room for both work and parenting at home.
4 Real-Life Tips for Working from Home with Kids
1. Stick to a Schedule
For nearly a decade, I’ve worked from home as a freelance writer and website manager. My previous job as an English and Journalism teacher groomed me to stick to a schedule. Simply put, if you’re going to work effectively from home, you have to have a schedule, especially if your cubicle mates are your kids.
The COVID-19 pandemic has produced a unique situation: parents are now filling three roles—parent, employee, and teacher. As if two weren’t hard enough.
Increase everyone’s productivity by following a schedule until it becomes routine. This will help your children ease into summer as well. Utilize the morning time as it tends to be the most productive window.
2. Minimize Distractions
Being cooped up together, there are plenty of opportunities for distractions. “Mom, she’s looking at me!” “Can we get out the karaoke machine?” “Mom, Mom, Mom…oh, I forgot.” I’ve found the very best way for me to zone into my work while the kids are home is with my Bose noise cancelling headphones.
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have 11 levels of controllable noise cancelling that are beyond anything on the market. On the highest setting, kids can be yelling at the top of their lungs and you barely hear muffled voices.
If you are a parent, these headphones are a must!
They also help my kids focus on their online schoolwork and not get distracted by their siblings. Sometimes they provide a much-needed break from their siblings.
If you work from home, love listening to music, podcasts, audio books, or just need a break from reality once in a while, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are the top of the line. The sound quality is phenomenal and their unrivaled microphone system makes conference calls and online meetings crystal clear. Advanced technology lets you easily control everything by touch. A swipe up or down on the surface of the headphones controls the volume and a swipe left or right lets you effortlessly navigate your playlist.
Learn about all the features here.
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3. Have a wellness break
If you want to sustain a long-term work-from-home routine, you need to schedule in a daily wellness break. After a few solid hours of work, my kids get antsy and I lose productive steam. Fights break out, whining ensues, and it’s a buzz kill for everyone so the best solution I’ve found is to take a break.
Go for a walk or a bike ride together. It’s hard on kids when parents work from home. They’re so used to having your undivided attention and can start to feel ignored. We break up the work day by making time in the schedule for play.
4. So what do my kids do while I work?
Currently, I coordinate my working time with my kids’ distance learning time. While I work, they work on school work. When they’re done, I set up stations for them, consisting of puzzles, play dough, books, coloring pages, and games. Every 15 minutes I set an alarm and they each move to the next station.
While I’ve certainly let my kids watch TV while I work, I try to limit screen time to an hour. After that, they have “creative free time” to make their own videos, paint, draw, or play outside.
5. Adjust to working amid the chaos.
Going from quiet office to chaotic home can be rocky. But the sooner you learn to type a memo while your kid is sticking his wet finger in your ear, the better off you’ll be. I used to think I needed to wait to write until the house was peaceful, then I found my page was always blank.
Don’t postpone work until home conditions are perfect; that rarely happens. Learn to work amid the chaos (or use your Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones to create your own peaceful workplace.)
6. Recognize your sanity-saver.
When you work remotely, there is no transition from office to home. Your kitchen table doubles as a desk, staff meetings happen on your couch, and the office toilet usually has evidence of kids written all over it.
You need an outlet that is all your own. Listen to music, do yard work sans kids, and talk to other adults. And cut yourself (and others) some slack if home and work sometimes collide. (I apologize to any colleague who has ever heard my boys’ armpit farts while on a call.)
Good luck on your work-from home endeavors and make sure to check out the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 here (they have a 90 day risk free trial!) to make your work life and home life sing together harmoniously.