As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, about an average of 90% of schools in Malaysia have been closed or are scheduled to close, which published a state-by-state map tracking school closures across the country.
For thousands of parents who have been asked to work remotely, this means extra challenges when trying to balance the demands of work life and home life while coronavirus remains a concern. Though many parents have had a “one-off working-from-home day” when a kid is sick or the weather is bad, the reality of working remotely every single day alongside your kids will be a “steep learning curve” for a lot of people.
So, here have five simple guides for implementing an effectively work-from-home set-up with your kids.
1. Create A Schedule
As parents, you can set a strict schedule that replicates that of a normal school day that has been helpful to you.
2. Communicate, Even More Than You Think Is Necessary
As someone who has been working remotely for a decade, communication is the No. 1 thing you have to be cognizant of and thinking about all the time.
For example, if you’re on a conference call, it’s acceptable to sometimes say, “Hey, just a heads up, I might have a kid walk into this room, and I will handle it and get right back to you.”
It can also be helpful to create a spreadsheet with your manager and the rest of your team, where you each outline your emergency contact information and your availability for virtual meetings. It should come together and talk about what’s going to work best for everyone. This might mean more frequent, but casual meetings, or it might mean fewer meetings altogether.
3. Set The Boundaries With Your Kids
It’s crucial to set boundaries with your kids when working remotely, especially if they’re school-aged. It may be helpful to allow your kids to watch more TV and play more games than usual in order to keep them occupied. Besides, you need to explain to your kids that this is a special thing, and this freedom won’t go on forever. You also should tell your kids when you need to be in “do not disturb” mode. Recommend to parents working from home to have a physical sign on the door with a thumbs up, thumbs down or whatever works as a signal for when you truly cannot be interrupted.
4. Take Breaks
Breaks are important when working at home and taking a lunch break helps them to feel refreshed and ready to get back to work. Every hour of focused work you complete, you take at least a 10-minute break to grab a snack, walk around, or say “hi” to your kids. Besides, do some a quick at-home yoga session, a hot shower, or indulging in your favorite podcasts are other self-care things you can do when taking a healthy break from work.
5. Alternate Shifts With Your Partner
If you’re in a position where you and your spouse are working from home, alternating shifts with your partner can make working remotely a lot easier. You can work early in the morning, and your partner woke up with the kids and made breakfast and did all that sort of stuff. Then, after breakfast, you and your partner can switch shifts throughout the day, allowing each other to have uninterrupted work time.
If switching shifts with your spouse is not an option, whose husband is not able to work remotely, emphasizes that a strict schedule and extra planning will be key to maximizing your day. Then, you immediately wake up, in addition to following the schedule, is clean up all of toys so that the living room is no longer a playroom. It helps to clear up space so that when you do have time to get work done while your kids are napping, it’s not spending it trying to clean up toys.