Because of the COVID-19 pandemic many people are now having to work from home – a temporary or even permanent ‘new normal.’ For some, remote working is something they’ve done before and are highly comfortable with, though they may face new obstacles. For others, they are trying mightily to adapt to working from home, helping their now home-schooled children, keeping the home in some kind of order, and not feeling guilty about not being able to ‘do it all.’
Here are some tips on how to manage it all and successfully Work from Home:
- 1. Set up a defined work space, and make it work. At work you have a desk where you have everything needed for your work day. While you may not be able to have an entire desk to work with at home, make a designated work space and claim it. Put everything there that is needed to do your job well: your computer, monitor, printer/scanner, chargers, pads of paper, pens, file folders, etc. Pick a comfortable chair where you will likely sit for hours at a stretch. Let the family know this is **your** space and it is not to be messed with. Also make sure that you ask your company what programs you need to have downloaded on your computer. Then make sure everything you’ve gathered and installed is in good working order.
- 2. Create a schedule. The kids are asking for help on school work that you haven’t seen or even thought about in a couple of decades! Set designated times to help them with their school work. Most kids are going to be more than happy to sleep in or get up and catch some screen time before starting school work. So when you wake up, use that quiet time to get some of your work done before sitting down with them. By alternating your time and being solely focused, you will feel less stressed about missing something on either end. This is also a great time to teach children independence, which will be needed one day when they are in the work force.
- 3. Identify and delegate tasks. Non-stop housework when everyone is home is probably the biggest stressor. Normally people are gone for a big chunk of the day, so you only have minimum chores to do. But now that the family is home all day, there are more dishes to wash, more meals to make, more messes to clean, etc., and it repeats daily. But you’re not the only one stuck inside, so you should not be the only one doing the house work! Remember that idea of independence we talked about earlier? Put the kids to work! There are tons of chore charts you can find in Google Images that will help you distribute work based on the age of the child. The kids can also help to make sandwiches for lunch, set up cereal for breakfast, etc. Having the small ones help make dinner not only teaches them life skills, but is often seen as fun and takes tasks off of your plate.
- 4. Set good expectations. Lastly, ask your company exactly what is expected of you during this time. Are they ok with you being an independent worker, as long as the work is getting done? Can you set a schedule with them that works for both of you? It’s important that you balance your home life and work life to avoid burnout and stress. Trust me, your company wants you to avoid that as well. Finding something that works for both of you is going to be the best way to continue being a valuable contributing employee while also making sure your home is in order to help your children succeed as students and that you maintain some kind of normalcy.
The tragic COVID-19 pandemic will eventually slow down, but only time will tell how quickly this crisis will dissipate. There are many benefits to working from home, and it may be something that more companies begin to offer as they see that employees are capable of accomplishing what they need to do. Find what setup works for you, and stick to it. There will be good days and bad days, but as long as we all stay supportive, safe, and home, we will eventually get back to a normal work life.
(written by: Crystal)