In just one week we’re working from home, our kids are attending classes remotely, the restaurants and stores are closed, and we’re adjusting to sheltering in place. One of the newest challenges is that whole families are “working” from home.
This is one of the most novel — and disruptive — things about life in pandemic culture: parents and children are forced to adjust to a new rhythm of school and work - at home.
To help all of us move through this transition process, we have collected some ideas for you and your family.
Suddenly everyone in your house needs a space to “work” from kids attending remote classes to both spouses needing an office. Now is the time to be creative with setting up those spaces. Having a space for studying or working also includes a desk or table, Internet connections, good lighting, and some privacy.
Everyone needs a comfortable chair. You’re going to spend several hours a day in that chair, so be sure it works for you.
Make a Schedule
Coordinating the needs of multiple people certainly takes some planning. When will your children need help with their assignments or accessing the online classes? Do you have Zoom or conference calls? During the day when do you need to focus on your work? Making a schedule that includes everyone in your household is a great way to get organized. Remember, these schedules will not doubt change throughout the week.
Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate Some More
For most of us, this switch to working from home happened quickly and will certainly create some bumps in the road. Creating a plan to manage everyone’s expectations on how often you should check in and how to convey any changes or new assignments will you a long way to keeping both your manager and direct reports informed.
To cut down on misunderstandings, consider how you communicate. Emails or texts may suffice, or a more complicated interaction may be best handled through phone or video chats.
Take a Break
For every hour you work, a good idea is to take 10 minutes to get up, walk around, check on your kids and partner. With everyone at home a great idea is to have lunch together – and some time to share what’s going on in your day.
Add that lunch to your schedule so your coworkers and family know when you are taking some time for yourself.
Let’s face it, nothing can replace communicating face-to-face. It’s natural and not surprising to feel like you are out of the loop occasionally. The good news is that everyone is in the same boat.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Officing from home is a huge change and you are not going to be as efficient or productive as you were in the office. You will get the hang of this new situation in a few days. Remember as well that your circumstances may change again, and you will have some new challenges.
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