Do I telework with children? Easy with these few tips!

Of Camille Van Puymbroeck

1. Create your workplace

Just like in the office, it’s important to have your own place to work in peace. Your house is big? In this case, turn one of the bedrooms in the house into an office. Don’t have a lot of space at your disposal? Set up a specific corner in the office. What matters most is being able to work there quietly.

2. Enjoy the morning

The great advantage of working from home is that you no longer have to travel and save time every day: no more traffic jams and no more busy moments to prepare your children for school. Make good use of it. For example, let your babies sleep a little longer so you can already get to work. This way you can stop a little earlier in the evening, so you will have more time to do a nice activity with your children.

3. Vary the activities

To keep your kids busy, you need to plan quiet activities and activities that require more energy. They can do some quiet activities on their own, like crafting or painting. Do they need to spend more? Let them play hide and seek or run around the garden. Like at school, you can divide your living room into several play areas: the do-it-yourself corner, the reading corner and the doll’s corner, for example. Do you have a videoconference scheduled for the day? Keep your kids busy by letting them watch TV or Netflix. It is important not to offer everything on the same day, but to vary between multiple activities. Thus, your children will not be bored.

4. Routine is good

Keeping children busy while working is a challenge, especially when it is needed for a long time. For this it can be useful to establish a daily routine and, for example, divide the day into several blocks for your children.

It is also essential for you to structure your working day. Complete your tasks according to the degree of urgency and make sure you can complete the most difficult tasks during the quietest time of the day. Maintaining a daily structure throughout the family will also allow your children to adapt more quickly to the new situation and your pace of work.

5. Set goals for your children

Do you have school-age children who have homework to do? Determine each day what exercises they need to do and when they need to be ready. As soon as you have finished your work, you can take some time to do the exercises with your children. This way, your child will also learn to organize his day on his own.

You can also have older children do the housework. For example, ask them to wash your vehicle, pull weeds, empty the dishwasher, or tidy up their room. They will take care of themselves in a useful way and you will have more time for your work.

6. Run errands for the whole week and cook early

It’s best to do all of the week’s purchases at once. To save time, you can cook ahead on weekends, which will give you more time on weekdays for your family or work. And maybe your older children can help you peel potatoes or do other things in the kitchen.

7. Take advantage of afternoon naps

Do you have small children who still take a nap in the afternoon? Take the opportunity to make good progress in your work while they sleep. You will be less stressed when you work less concentrated during their playing time.

8. Choose the best time for video meetings

If you are in daily contact with your colleagues via video conference, be sure to schedule these meetings at a quiet time so you don’t get interrupted too often. For example, do this early in the morning when the children are still sleeping, or when they are watching TV or playing on the tablet. And if your kids still show up on the screen, don’t worry! Your colleagues will find it nice to see a snapshot of your private life.

9. Alternate with your partner

If both of you are telecommuting, divide the time you spend with your children. While one takes care of the children, the other can concentrate on his work. The children will not feel neglected and both parents will be able to concentrate on their work for a few hours a day.

10. Make sure you have a good work-life balance

Finally, it is essential to preserve the balance between work and private life. Your work for the day is done, turn off your computer and enjoy the evening. For example, plan something fun, like a board game night.

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