With self-isolating the new norm, many of us must now navigate the complexities of working from home amongst other household members. Kitchens and dining rooms have become makeshift home offices and for those with children, these areas are also being used for day-care and home schooling. Living/working harmoniously (and productively) with your children and partner can be challenging, so we’ve put together a couple of quick tips to help.
Create zones within your home
Working from home is less stressful when you have a dedicated work area. Establish work and work-free zones within your home, as this will help you and your family mentally and physically separate roles and boundaries. If your home is open-plan, consider using a partition so you can still see and hear your kids while you work.
Set boundaries & reward good behaviour
Talk to your kids and help them understand how, when and why you are working. Get them to cooperate with rewards like treats or extra time on devices.
Stick to a schedule
School-aged children are accustomed to timed periods and recess. Maintaining structure and routine will help them adjust to their new working environment. Take set breaks for lunch and morning/afternoon tea to establish good working behaviours while enjoying some family time together.
We know it’s important to make time to exercise and children normally have physical activities scheduled into their school day. Incorporate a physical outdoor activity that everyone can do together. If the weather is inclement, consider something more indoor-friendly like pilates or yoga.
Look after yourself
The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for everyone, so don’t beat yourself up. Over time, you’ll develop a system that works for you and your family. Most importantly, take the time to look after yourself whether it’s a quick phone call with friends, a glass of wine, meditation or a creative activity.