There’s working from home…and then there’s working from home with children. Dun,
You think school holidays were hard. This is a new frontier, especially as many
of your normal care options (eg. the grandparents) mightn’t be possible.
Do you know who’s best placed to get through this time? Beamers! Ie. part-time
professionals who are used to being highly productive in short sprints of time.
You’ve definitely got this, even if you feel a bit frazzled. We’ve put together
our tips for making it through:
Challenge any traditional roles your family falls into — put everything on the table
If you have two working parents, both work together. Try not to focus on who
normally does what. Look at who needs to do what — and who can do what!
Get creative about where to find additional hours:
- Can you split days so each parent gets a work shift and a kids shift? Eg.
6am-12pm and 12.30pm-6.30pm.
- Work before the kids get up or after the kids are in bed
- Do you have any leave up your sleeve? (annual leave, pandemic leave, carers
leave, long-service leave)
If you’re a single parent, hoo boy, you just have every last scrap of our
Renegotiate what your work looks like
Chances are, especially if you have younger kids, you could be getting 10
minutes to the hour of focussed work done, if that. Now is the time to
re-prioritise your work with your manager —
and get realistic about what your new work-life blend looks like. The aim = stop
you burning out.
Be prepared to:
- Define the number of **_focussed work hours _**you can have per week. Be
realistic, not ambitious!
- Reduce your work hours. The amount of work you can do while having the kids
around must be discussed with your employer.
- Adjust your roles and responsibilities; focus in on delivering the top
business priorities. Temporarily rescope your role if required. (Check out our
Ask Beam on this subject
or email us if you need more assistance.)
- Focus on getting one thing done at a time
- Work out if there are any must-do tasks on your plate that are ok for times
when you’re distracted? (Eg. CRM updates)
- Have team phone calls with kids running in. In fact, we’d say it’s now not PC
to pretend your kids aren’t there!
Get the kids sorted
To resist spiralling into days of panicky screen time (#nojudgment), have a
really clear plan for every day. We aren’t going to get into detail here as
there are plenty of resources out there right now. But some thoughts:
- Get the kids out for a spot of exercise first thing before sitting down to do
some school work. Helps with focus. Hmmmm actually not just for the kids —
works for adults too.
- Create and agree to a schedule at the start of each day
- Build in clear blocks of time for getting solid work done — when you’re
explaining these times to your kids, compare it with situations in
kinder/school that they’re familiar with (eg. lessons in class when they have
to do independent work).
- Find your tribe: Join an online community to share homeschool resources, ask
questions and post memes: eg.
- Rope in your community to help you out via Zoom chat. Book play dates, run
competitions (eg. Lego Masters style), get the grandparents to set tasks (the
kids are much more likely to do these if it’s not you asking!)
- Sign up for online lessons: piano, guitar, dance, etc
- If things are falling to pieces it’s MOVIE TIME! AGAIN!!!
- Make time for being present when you can be (in case you need to be distracted
- Getting stressed? Read this article:
You are not your child’s teacher.
Then get yourself sorted!
- If possible, work from a separate part of the house from where the kids are.
“Out of sight, out of mind!”
- If your partner’s also WFH, make sure EACH of you get some child-free time
during the day, whether it’s going for a run, catching up with a friend
(social distancing!), etc. Having a kid-free break even for just half an hour
will help with your sanity having the kids around ALL THE TIME!
Be kind to yourself and realistic.
We are all trying to find our way through this.
This isn’t business as usual.
You won’t be able to get as many tasks done as normal. However, that doesn’t
mean you won’t be able to get the most important tasks done.
But the most important task is looking after yourself and your humans. There are
things bigger than work happening right now. And honestly, we just want to give
you a big hug!