When the global pandemic forced office closures in the early months of 2020, remote working became the only option left for companies to survive. While remote working has been the norm for more than two years, it seems many still struggle with challenges, particularly when working from home when you have young kids or pets.
Whether it be bored kids or jumpy pets, we’ve got some tips for you to handle yourself when both your personal and professional life exist in the same environment.
1. Make the Proper Arrangements
If you weren’t working from home, who would be looking after the baby? Would it be your spouse or a nanny? Working remotely and being physically at home doesn’t mean you’ve now developed superpowers to handle childcare and work simultaneously. Before committing to remote work, make arrangements for childcare as you would if you were working on-site – particularly if your company will continue to follow a traditional office schedule.
2. Keep the Peace with Boundaries
Learn to put up boundaries. Learn to say no. Let children who are old enough to know that there is a time for work and play. If you have very young kids, set boundaries for yourself. Know when it’s inappropriate to bring your child or pet into your home office space. Know when their presence is distracting and disruptive.
3. Stick to a Schedule
Even if you have flexible work hours, it’s best to stick to a schedule when you work at home with young children or needy, playful pets. Sticking to a schedule means establishing a routine that everyone will ultimately get used to, making it easier for everyone to follow the rules and boundaries of your remote working arrangement. By sticking to a schedule, kids and pets will learn when it is time for you to come out and play, such as during lunch breaks and after work. You can even train them to wait patiently and reward them for good behavior.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
It’s never a bad thing to ask for help; seeking help is much better than allowing things to become too much to handle. It helps to have a babysitter or relatives watch over the kids, particularly when you have an important meeting or deadline. They can help in making sure your kid is entertained, fed, and looked after.
The same can be said for your pets! They need that human affection and attention to keep up a joyful mood or someone to take them out for walks and play with. At the end of the day, you’re still their beloved human.
5. Forgive Yourself
As working parents, we deal with enough guilt that we don’t give our kids and pets enough attention. And it becomes even worse when we are physically in the home with them but cannot attend to them mentally and emotionally because we’re working. Recognize your efforts and the fact that you’re working to provide them with a better life. So don’t be hard on yourself; instead, celebrate that you have the best of all worlds – a career that allows you to be close to your precious children and pets.