There is a high chance that remote working will be the new normal for a lot of businesses and companies. If you have kids, it is important that they understand your boundaries so that you will not be too distracted with your home life during your work hours.
The change can be difficult for your kids so you have to make sure that they are also comfortable with it.
1. Communicate With Them Clearly
Make sure that your kids know and understand the changes that are going to happen in your household.
They might feel like you working from home automatically means more time they can spend with you. However, you must make it clear that during your work hours, you cannot play with them. You can always promise to dedicate a certain day of the week just for them so that they will not feel neglected.
Answer all the questions they might have about the changes. Never get tired of their continuous curiosity about your work but make sure that you explain to them clearly so that they can learn to respect your work hours.
2. Setup Your Private Workspace
Having a private place where you can focus on your work and not be bothered when your kids are loudly playing is the most ideal thing to do. Having a whole room just to be your office is the perfect setup. However, if you do not have a spare room, you can get creative.
You can renovate an existing room and turn it into your home office. You can also have a small space in your bedroom to be dedicated to your work. Instruct your kids to avoid going inside your home office so that you can do your work at peace. Let them know that they can only talk to you during emergencies.
3. Adjust Your Work Schedule
If it seems impossible to balance your work and life schedule, you can try to ask your boss for different work times so that you have better control over your life.
The traditional work hours are usually around 9 am to 5 pm. However, since a lot of companies are switching to modern hours, this can be subject to change, depending on the culture of the company you are working at.
You can ask if you can work a night shift so that your kids are already asleep. This also benefits the company as you are more productive when your house is silent.
Alternatively, you can ask for longer hours but fewer days. This is ideal especially if your kids also have online school or are busy with different activities at certain periods of time. You can either work for 10 hours from Monday to Thursday so that you can complete the 40 hours a week target and have three days to spend with your kids instead of just two days.
The negative impact of this schedule is that you have little control over the day-to-day activities of your kids since you will be working longer hours. But since you do not have to mind the rush hour traffic anymore, it might be just the same as it was before you worked remotely.
Since this is subject to the management's decision, you should set your expectations. However, you can increase your chances if you ask to test the new work hours on a trial so that you and your boss can both see the difference it makes in terms of productivity.
4. Ask For your Family's Help
You and your spouse, or other older family member, can work together so that you all can make sure that somebody is always watching the kids even if you have work. For example, you and your spouse can have different work hours so that someone is always up and spending time with the kids.
This is especially important during the first few weeks of your new remote work schedule. It can be a difficult change and you might need a lot of help in order to be able to balance your work and personal lives.
While it can be difficult to change your life all of a sudden, certain things can be done in order to make the transition smoother and more comfortable for all the people involved, especially your kids.