Tips on Balancing Parenthood and Remote Work: Practical Strategies for Productivity
Whether you’re a parent with a remote job or you’re looking for an opportunity to work from home, you need to figure out how to do so while raising your kids. From moving to a better space to creating boundaries, there are many tactics you can try to juggle all of your important responsibilities so you can focus on your work and your family.
Control Your Circumstances
The best way to effectively balance both work and parenthood is to control your circumstances so you have fewer surprises. If you don’t yet have a remote job but wish to find one, consider the most flexible roles, like being a freelance writer, tutor, or graphic designer.
If you’re working remotely and things are going well, but you’re limited on space and can’t get the privacy you need for your essential tasks, then you may want to consider moving. Just be aware that the rise in remote work has affected housing as more people are moving to the suburbs and they’re looking for houses with extra office space. You can use this fact to your benefit. People who currently have office space in their homes may try to sell, and you could find a property that suits your needs.
Research shows that the average employee wastes more than 21 days yearly on menial or repetitive tasks. If that’s the case at your company, that’s a lot of time spent away from your family.
You can cut out some of that wasted effort and make time for your kids by eliminating unnecessary tasks at work. Do you need a long meeting to discuss a few topics? Or can they be covered in a short email that takes a few minutes to read? If you regularly complete tasks you know aren’t benefiting the company, bring them up to management and try to get them out of your hair.
You can also use technology and the Internet of Things to make life easier. You’re basically creating a network of devices that can communicate with one another to streamline your work. For instance, if you work as an inventory manager at a warehouse, then sensors in the warehouse can determine when stock reduces and send a report to your smartphone. You can also use IoT with your personal devices. You could connect the smartwatch and baby monitor so you can check in on your child from the other room.
Everyone will use these applications differently, so you can get started with IoT by identifying the tasks that would benefit the most from this tech and researching how they can be connected. Consider the mundane tasks that could be automated so that you can focus on more important work, and then speak to your IT team about the IoT devices that can make your plans a reality.
Manage Your Time
Part of controlling your circumstances is managing your day, so you know what’s around every corner and can prepare for every distraction.
Before you clock in, plan your day carefully and look at what you must accomplish at work and home. Look at when you have meetings and make a plan for your kids to nap during that time. Likewise, schedule around your family responsibilities, like when you need to bring the kids to playdates or prepare their food and then schedule your breaks at work during those periods. Plan accordingly, and you can be more productive while always giving 100% wherever you are.
Another way to manage your everyday stress while working from home is to learn to say no if your manager tries to give you more than you can take. Tell your job when you must be done for the day and stick to that schedule. Many jobs will push you to the limit, but if you’re too tired at the end of the day to appreciate your family, then you need to make a change.
It’s also essential to set boundaries for when you’re at work and when you’re with family. Once you clock out of work and you’re spending time with the kids, avoid the temptation to work. This is a time for your family, and it should not be interrupted. Even if the work you’re trying to complete is necessary, you won’t be able to give it your full attention if you’re with the kids, and mistakes are inevitable.
It’s hard to think about how to successfully multitask well enough to satisfy your work and the family, but with the right strategy, you can make it happen. Consider these tips and be the super-parent that you know you can be.