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With autumn here and schools running various in-person or distance learning schedules across the country, millions of parents have been thrust into a whole new world of juggling full-time career and full-time parenting in tandem. Are you in this situation?
If you nodded your head in agreement, the good news is you’re not alone! COVID-19 left many of us without a choice of facing this not-so-easy feat of juggling children while trying to train or work from home.
With a plethora of working and parenting experience on the team, The Bob Pike Group offers up these tips and tricks for productively training or working from home with kids.
To get the most out of the day – quantity and quality – simply think ahead. Develop a routine so you don't get caught in a free-for-all. Whether it is lining up your school ager’s assignments up nice and neat or planning out fun craft activities for younger children, take a few moments each evening to prep for the next day. You can also create a catalog of activities they can work on independently while you take that time to focus on your own training or work. Schedule lunch and create structure as best as you can.
This might seem a bit obvious! But it’s important. If possible, set up a space away from the action where you can escape if you need to hunker down for a webinar, virtual meeting, or online training session. This is where offering a fun list of independent activities to your kids can come in handy.
It’s okay to explain to your kids that you also have work that must get done, and they can help by giving you quiet time. Post a sign in your working space that you can flip to read "open" or "closed" when trying to meet deadlines or during virtual meetings. There will be hiccups along the way, but if you’re all on the same page—it’s the best you can do!
You may not be able to work in actual virtual training or webinars early in the morning based off other attendees’ or trainers’ schedules. But these quiet hours before the rest of your household awakes for the day offers you a great opportunity to pound out some prep work, listen to a training podcast or two, and get through emails.
Proactively communicate with your employer or virtual meeting attendees that you’ve got kids at home and you may not be able to guarantee every conversation will be interruption-free. Remember, you’re not alone! Many of them likely have kids at home, too. Workplace expectations are a lot different than they were a year ago!
Let’s be honest, it’s not likely you’ll get to put your nose to the grindstone for a 3-hour stretch of work while at home with kids. Work for 45 or 60 minutes, then take a 10-minute break to hang out or check on the kids. During the times you get to yourself, try your best to really focus!
There will be times when you’ll need a longer stretch of work time (i.e. attending or leading virtual meetings or training sessions). During those times, lean on friends, neighbors, and family members to help out. Remember, we’re all in this together and support each other.
You got this! These tips will keep your stress level down for you … and your kids. You’ll wake up refreshed ready to face every day with just a bit of thoughtful prep. Whether you’re working, training, or teaching from home, head over to The Bob Pike Group’s one-stop-shop of everything virtual training for more tips, tricks, and how-tos.