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How To Juggle Between Work from Home and Childcare

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Childcare and Work Together

Families are facing uncharted territory with parents working from home while schools, nurseries and day-care centres/crèches across the country are closed. However, help is at hand when it comes to juggling between work from home and childcare commitments at this crucial time.

We share some pointers that will help parents to work from home effectively while still caring for their children.

Talk to your Employer/Company

We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation to which there is no one-size-fits-all solution. And that is why it is essential to talk to your employer or company about your specific situation and come up with an approach that enables you to complete your work commitments while caring for your children. This might mean adopting flexible hours so you can work in the evenings or schedule meetings that coincide with your child's afternoon naps. If you are self-employed, ask your clients to be patient as you adapt to this new work scenario and add a note to your email signature that reassures people that you will get back to them within a 24-hour window.

Create boundaries

If you were previously working remotely on a regular basis, you might already have a home office set up. If not, now is the time to create a dedicated workspace – it might be a spare bedroom, a large hallway or one half of the dinner table. The point is to make it clear to everyone in the house that when you are in this space, you are working. Explain to your children that if the door is closed, they need to knock before entering, make a ''do not 'disturb' sign to place for everyone's view when you are in your office. Ask your spouse to take on childcare duties when it's time to join a video call.

Take advantage of tech

Working from home comes with its own set of unique distractions such as teething toddlers to teenage tantrums. To maintain optimal productivity, you may want to use earphones to cancel out the background noise. That way, you can work on your daily task list distraction-free.

Try to stick to a routine

Having a plan of how each day will unfold can help you remain as productive as possible. Plan your child's day schedule, the same way you plan your work keeping in mind the following points.

  • When do they eat their meals?
  • When is playtime, bath time and nap time?
  • When do they wake up?
  • When do they go to bed?
  • When do they have to attend virtual classes?

Use these answers as the basis for your timetable and allocate time when you will be able to focus on your work. But do not be too hard on yourself if things do not always play out the way you hoped. Remember to leave some empty slots to give you a little more flexibility should timings get disrupted. To know how you can stay productive as you work from home click here.

Depending on you and your spouse’s work commitments, you might be able to alternate taking up childcare and work responsibilities. Once you have drawn up a timetable, you can also assign day-to-day chores – like preparing meals, doing the dishes and tackling the laundry – to you, your spouse and even the older children in your home. In fact, during a crisis such as this, we also find grandparents in the house coming to our rescue. Consider delegating some chores like assisting kids with their homework or chopping vegetables to them.

Enjoy quality time together

Just as you have blocked out a few hours to write that report, block out some time each day to have fun. That might mean coming up with new indoor games, reading a few books aloud or only eating a meal together. Engage in screen-free activities with your little ones. Click here to know ten screen-free activities you can engage in with your kids. These activities will give your mind a break from answering emails and meeting deadlines, and reward children for being patient while you have had to get on with work.

By incorporating these simple methods into your schedule, you will be able to manage childcare and work from home without letting it affect your productivity.

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