Tips For Working From Home With Kids Around

Are you working from home with kids around?  Working from home is a dream for many parents, but the reality can be much different, especially when it is thrust upon you with little notice. Working from home with kids around requires a little planning, patience, and flexibility. Your schedule may change at a moment’s notice and there will be days when you can’t be as productive as you’d like.

Work from home with kids

Working From Home With Kids

To set yourself up for success, there are a few things you can do to ensure a productive work environment.

  1. Be Willing to be Flexible

You may not be able to work a standard 9-5 schedule if you’re at home with kids around. Be flexible and adjust your schedule (If your job permits this). Get up earlier and work a few hours in the morning, then put in a few more hours between lunch and dinner, and work an extra hour or two in the evening. Being flexible allows you to spend time with your kids throughout the day as well as work.

  1. Communicate Your Needs

If your spouse is also at home, communicate what you need from each other as far as quiet time and distractions. Figure out how you can work together to give you the quality quiet time you need. Then discuss this with your kids so they know the rules about when it’s okay to interrupt and when it’s not.  Even small children can learn to be respectful of work time.

  1. Hire Help

If your spouse isn’t home to help care for your kids, hire help when it is possible. Bringing someone in, even for just a few hours a day, to keep your kids distracted and cared for while you work can help you increase your productivity.

  1. Have a Dedicated Space

With a dedicated home office where you can close the door, you can help your kids set boundaries. They’ll know that when mommy or daddy is in the office with the door closed, it’s work time and they shouldn’t disturb you. It can also help to signal them to keep the noise level down.   If you have a make-shift office, find something visual that will signal to your children that you should not be disturbed.  It can be a certain piece of clothing or jacket you put on, certain music you play or a stuffed animal you sit in the chair beside you.  Whatever you decide as a signal can work.

According to MoneyChat, “Having a dedicated workspace can also help reduce distractions, like social media.”   The more focused you are the more work you will accomplish.

  1. Create a Boredom Box

Put together a box with craft supplies, books, parent-approved movies, and toys that they can use on their own if they’re bored. You can also create a list of parent-approved activities to hang on the fridge and include things they can do on their own if they’re bored. Making sure your kids have plenty to keep them busy will allow you to be less distracted.  You can also include age-appropriate chores or homework.   When you work, they do their work.

  1. Create a Healthy Snack Box

As parents, we’ve all heard the cries of “I’m hungry! There’s nothing to eat!” To your kids, this is an emergency worth interrupting you for. Steer clear of this distraction by creating snack stations in the pantry and fridge with plenty of things they can eat on their own. Crackers, pretzels, yogurt, fruit, cheese, juice boxes, and other healthy snacks will give your kids more independence while giving you peace and quiet.

  1. Practice

Practice with your kids before you start working from home or when you set up new rules to help them learn and understand when it’s okay to interrupt you and when it’s not. Give them a signal that tells them to stop or be quiet if they’re interrupting at a bad time. For instance, putting your hand up to tell them to stop or your finger over your lips to tell them to be quiet.

Working from home with kids around can create a lot of challenges to your productivity, but if you work with your kids and you’re willing to be flexible, you should be able to be successful.  Who knows, you may decide you enjoy working from home and opt to make it a permanent work environment.

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3 Quick Tips for Work-Life Balance at Home

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5 Easy Ways to Balance Your Work and Family Life

Do You Need Help With Your Job Search?

If you need help updating your resume or practicing for an interview during these hard times, consider reaching out to me, Rachel at Career Find to assist you.

By |2020-06-10T22:00:39-05:00June 10th, 2020|Remote Work, Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on Tips For Working From Home With Kids Around

5 Easy Ways to Balance Your Work and Family Life

Work and family life balance is something we all should strive to achieve.

It’s the end of February, the month of love! Although many of you may be terribly busy at work or maintaining your business if self-employed, are you remembering to love your family?

Now I know everyone loves their family.  But are you making time for your family life?  It is important.

Work and Family Life Balance

Use These Tips to Help Balance Your Work and Family Life

I’m not suggesting you slow down or become a slacker, but I want to give you 5 simple ways to ensure that you are productive, but also fostering your important relationships.

  1. Keep Your Work Life and Your Family Life Separate

If you work from home, keep your business behind your office door. This is about choosing your priorities. When you’re at work, work is important, but when you’re at home, the family is key! There is no way to strike the perfect balance unless you recognize that work and family are not synonymous – they are and should be, two separate parts of your life.   Even if you have the type of job that requires more time, everyone needs to unplug at times.   When you work from home, it is very easy to let it take over your whole life.   It is important that you create boundaries.

Here’s a tip: Don’t sync your work email to your personal cell phone!

  1. Leave Work at the Door

When you punch out, that job isn’t your problem until the next time you punch in! Once you pull in the driveway or step out of your office, your family is your priority now. It is important to share your work achievements and experiences with your family, but you must also know when to stop talking shop. It is easy to let thoughts of work consume all your time.  Your time at home is your time to recuperate. What better way to do that than to have a family game night?

  1. Schedule Vacations

Don’t use your personal or vacation time to sit around and do nothing! Most importantly, don’t use those days to catch up on work.  Don’t let those vacation days lapse.  According to CNBC, in 2018, US workers forfeited 200 million vacation days.  This should not be happening!

We all know that money is an issue but it is a renewable resource. What you can’t get back are memories and experiences that didn’t happen!  Plan vacations and take them.  Even if it means going somewhere local. Don’t lose vacation time.

Here’s a tip:  Let the family help plan those vacations.  Planning turns into quality time and they all will have a vested interest and look forward to the vacation.

  1. Communication is Key

Why should your coworkers get to hear your voice more than your spouse? We often forget that relationships don’t maintain themselves. Instead of sitting on the couch and watching a movie tonight, eat a meal together with the TV off. This will give you the chance to at least get a few words in before it’s back to bed and up for work again.  If it is been so long since you have had a conversation with each other that you don’t know where to start, Google some conversation starters to give you ideas.

Remember, communication can be nonverbal – pick up some flowers on your way home or make it a point to kiss your family goodnight. Read the kids a story, put a note in their lunchbox, schedule time to just be together.  Small actions can sometimes speak louder than words.

  1. Know There Is Not  a Perfect Balance

Nothing in this world is cut-and-dry or black and white. There will be times when you have to work late in your office or grab some overtime on a weekend. The best thing you can do is make up for that time later. Treat this less like a balanced scale and more like a seesaw. Just make sure that each side gets equal attention. If you worked last weekend, plan a family trip this weekend. If a trip isn’t realistic, do something together at home!   Need some ideas?  Cook a meal together, bake cookies, put a puzzle together, have a family game night, exercise together, go for a bike ride, or plan your next vacation.

Here’s a tip: When you know things are going to get crazy at work, talk to your family in advance.  Let them know you might not be as available but the following week you will plan something together.  Usually knowing what to expect helps them accept that you will be working extra.

Everyone’s work experience is different, but we all share the basic human need for relatedness and connection to others. While perfect work and family balance might not be possible, be sure each is getting your attention.

Other Posts of Interest

3 Quick Tips for Work-Life Balance at Home

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By |2020-03-17T12:03:32-05:00February 28th, 2020|Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on 5 Easy Ways to Balance Your Work and Family Life

3 Quick Tips for Work-Life Balance at Home

3 Tips for Work-life balanceIs work-life balance an issue for you and your family?    Today, there are more dual-income earners and women breadwinners than ever before. Typical “gender roles” are becoming less mainstream with families working together as partners when conquering household chores and raising a family.

The Challenges

Both males and females are facing new challenges balancing home life and career.  You can’t necessarily control everything in your life, especially at work.  But you can make an effort to find a balance.

According to Business News Daily, having a good work-life balance has numerous positive effects, including minimizing stress and burnout, and promoting overall well-being.   So it is important to strive for a better balance.

Employers are recognizing the added pressures and looking at the best ways to support, engage and maximize employee time and productivity.  But there are times when work-life can seem overwhelming.

While your employer may make changes to help, you can improve your home life partnership with these power-sharing tips.  Giving up power isn’t easy, especially when you don’t give it up at work.  But seeking ways to share the home duties relieves significant stress and helps you to be a partner and employee.

Dividing the Work at Home

How do you split the work at home?

Check out these top 3 power-sharing tips:

Embrace Individual Strengths

If your partner is a better cook and enjoys it, let them do it, even if you have always been the one to make dinner. Your strengths can be used for multi-tasking laundry or helping with homework.

Give Up on “Your Way”

When you start to share tasks in the household it is easy to be critical about the way someone else does things. This is especially difficult when you know “your way” is better. Keep in mind it is important to have the towels laundered and folded even if it’s not the way you usually do it.

Sharing is Caring

Sharing household chores no matter how hard your day was at work shows your partner that you care about their time and effort as well. Not only does this help your marriage/partnership, it has a ripple effect in overall happiness and satisfaction in life.

Work-life Balance

Take a few minutes today to devote to your work-life balance and think about what you can delegate to someone else.  How can you empower them to do the tasks needed.  Work-life balance are important for your mental health and for the success of your family.

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By |2020-05-07T12:26:31-05:00February 17th, 2020|Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on 3 Quick Tips for Work-Life Balance at Home

Is Working Remotely For You?

Many people dream of working from home in their comfy clothes.  According to a report by Global WorkPlace Analytics, 4.3 million employees are working from home at least half the time.  Research indicates the remote work will equal, if not surpass, fixed office locations by the year 2025.  Is working remotely a good fit for you?

Working Remotely

If you’re considering working remotely with your current job or you’re looking for another job so that you have the ability to work remotely, there are some things to consider. There are plenty of pros and cons to working remotely and only you can know if it’s the right fit for you.

Things to Consider Before Working Remotely

Here are some things to consider before you decide to work remotely . . .

The Pros:

Location Independent

You can work wherever and whenever you’d like, for the most part. Your company may still require you to work set hours or you may need to reach a certain level of productivity every day or every week, but your schedule can be more flexible.

If it’s a nice day, you can choose to work outside. Or maybe your kitchen table is preferred over your home office. You can be more productive in the morning so you can finish your work by early afternoon. The choice is yours.

Save Money

You’ll save money. Without the need to commute every day, you’ll save money on gas, tolls, and parking. You’ll also be less likely to go out for lunch. And, you won’t need to buy as many “work” clothes and pay for dry cleaning.

Focus

You can stay more focused without coworkers popping into your office all day long to distract you with questions or new projects. You’ll need to have some willpower to avoid the pile of laundry or the TV until your work is done, but there won’t be as many distractions as you would normally have at the office.

Less Drama

You can avoid office gossip and drama. You know all of those conversations that take place in the employee break room about who’s dating who, who got promoted, and who’s in trouble with the boss? Yeah, those. No more! You’ll no longer get caught in the middle of the drama.

The Cons:

Isolation

You may feel left out. If you’re an extrovert who thrives on having people around you, you may start to feel lonely and left out. You won’t be in the office for impromptu meetings and you won’t hear all the latest news about what’s going on in the company.

Lack of Motivation

Unless you’re a self-starter, it can be hard to stay focused and productive. You may be tempted to check your Facebook feed, start the dishwasher, or make a quick run to the grocery store which will take valuable time from working and leaving you being less productive.

Making Remote Work A Success

If you decide that working remotely is for you, you can learn to manage your productivity by time blocking your schedule and turning off apps and websites that distract you. You can schedule short breaks throughout the day that allow you to take care of those chores. And, you can video conference into office meetings so that you can still be part of what’s going on.

There are ways to make it work for you, but it can still get lonely. Only you can decide if it’s the right choice. You may want to present the idea to your boss and ask to try it out for a few weeks or month before making it permanent to determine if it works for you.

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By |2019-07-31T10:59:13-05:00July 31st, 2019|Career Success, Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on Is Working Remotely For You?

11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout

While it’s completely normal to experience stress in your job from time to time, feeling that way every day is not normal. If you feel stressed out in your work environment, even on the good days, you may be experiencing burnout or working in a toxic environment.  Even if you love your job there are steps you can take to make sure you maintain a work and life balance.

Work and Life Balance

Tips for Work and Life Balance

There are a few ways you can make your work atmosphere a little easier on yourself. Here are some ideas for getting through the day when you can’t wait for the day to be over:

Understand Balance

“Balance” doesn’t mean “equal.” There are times when either work or your personal life takes more weight, depending on what’s going on at the moment.  It is an ebb and flow situation and goes back and forth. You are still balancing things.   When you have to worry is when one side takes over your life for a long, extended period and pushes you to a breaking point.

Take Breaks

Allow yourself a 10-minute break about every 90 minutes and get out of the environment for a bit.   Even if it is just doing something different, going to the restroom,  or walking to the water cooler for a drink.   Even better, go for a walk outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Take your lunch break away from your desk. Listen to an audiobook, it will allow you to escape your environment for a bit and get your mindset back on track.

Create a Soothing Environment

If you have a desk, cubicle, or office that is all yours, make it a soothing environment. Listen to soothing background music as you work, keep your favorite mug nearby, add photos of your family and pets, add colors that bring you joy. Plants add life to an office.  Making your space more comforting will help reduce your stress.

Schedule Important Personal Activities.

Put them on your calendar just like a big meeting.  Things such as doctor appointments, dentist visits, school activities for your children, date nights with a spouse and more can quickly fall by the wayside if they aren’t purposefully scheduled. Block out your calendar for important personal events, and you’ll find they happen as they should. It can be tough to remember in the middle of a stressful day, but they’re just as important as any meeting.

Set Boundaries

If customers or colleagues think it’s OK to call you at 10 p.m. if they need something, they will. Set boundaries around when you are, and aren’t, available. Doing so will help you relax when you’re off the clock and avoid burnout.  It also helps others to know what to expect.

Take Up a Hobby

Having something you enjoy to do when you’re not in the office will help you keep your mind off work when you’re not there and will put you in a stronger frame of mind when you have to go back.  Pick something fun that you enjoy.

Turn off Technology

We now live in an “always on” culture with smartphones and other technology. However, you have power over your devices. Be intentional about turning them off and taking technology breaks. It will help you tremendously by keeping you more focused during your productive periods.

Create Balance

So often we hold on to work stress even when we’re not at the office. Or we work longer hours than we really need to, creating more stress. Find a balance in your life, not only in the time you spend at the office but in your mindset. Find a way to “turn off” the office when you’re not there. When you leave the office at the end of the day, signal your brain that it’s time to stop thinking about work by turning on the radio, calling a friend, or planning a great meal for dinner.

I have a friend that had a commute to and from work.   She identified a certain location on her commute to be where she changed what she thought about.  When she hit that spot going home, she shifted her thoughts from work to family, fun, future plans, etc.   As she was going to work, when she came to that spot she began thinking about what she would do first when she got to the office.  After a week or so of consciously doing this, it became a habit and it happened without thinking about it.

Get Exercise

Physical activity helps reduce stress, relieve tension, and makes you happier. Getting a little activity into each day will make the stressful part of your day easier to manage. Go for a walk, take a yoga class, do stretches at your desk, or simply go into the stairwell of your office building and walk up and down the stairs.

The exercise doesn’t have to happen at work.  Plan time at home to work in some exercise.  The more you exercise the better you will feel about your life in general.

Know Your Own Energy Cycle

Everyone has a natural energy cycle throughout the day. You can probably pinpoint times when you usually feel more focused and productive, as well as times where you want to take a nap instead of spending another minute at the computer.

If possible, schedule your tasks according to your energy. Do lower-energy administrative tasks when you’re in a lull, and more important work when you’re energized.

Schedule Vacation Time

It is important to take extended breaks from work.   Did you know that over 55% of Americans did not use all their vacation time last year?  Remember, vacation time doesn’t have to involve a week-long tropical getaway (although that’s a great way to recharge). Even a day away from the office can be enough to leave you feeling re-focused and refreshed.  Research shows that employees who plan to use all their time off are significantly more likely to actually use that time off.   It is important to your mental and physical health to take vacations from work.

Stressful job environments are all too common, but you don’t have to burn out or leave the job.  There are ways to take care of your physical and mental health and have a better work and life balance.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help planning an exit strategy and getting ready for the job search so your next job will be a place you truly enjoy working, your Career Coach, Rachel Schneider at Career Find and schedule a consultation.
By |2019-05-21T07:35:01-05:00May 21st, 2019|Work/Life Balance|Comments Off on 11 Tips for Work and Life Balance To Avoid Burnout