Stationary work will probably never be the same again. Among more than 16 million working and professionally active people, the vast majority were forced to switch to the remote work model at the same time. The perspective of people bringing up children has also changed, and new challenges have arisen related to combining work from home and parental responsibilities. Faced with this transformation, many working parents had to revise their previous professional attitudes.
Remote work with a child – start with establishing common rules
Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge is the need to carefully plan not only your own work, but most of all the schedule for each of the household members. It may be helpful to make the household members aware of their professional responsibilities. Tell about your work, what it is about, what your typical day at work looks like, what elements it consists of. Present what is important to you, what causes some behaviors. Parents of school children can use one weekend day for the so-called test day, working day simulation. So that little household members can find out the details on neutral ground. This will allow you to practice and understand the new rules of the home. The following tips for parents working remotely will certainly increase the efficiency of your work.
Routine is a new way to organize your time
It is extremely important to establish a routine and a fixed daily plan for each household member. Parents of infants or young children should carefully follow and write down a daily plan, including naps, breaks for meals, and fun for the youngest. This time is necessary to maintain balance and a sense of stability and security for both the child and the parent. In such a case, cooperation and establishing an action plan with the second tutor is necessary. For school-age children, such a daily plan may also be helpful. The routine will allow the child to have a better understanding of what stage of the day we are at and what to expect. The parent is also able to refer to a predetermined plan and rules. Often, such solutions unfortunately seem to be the idealistic vision of educators and psychologists – implementing this plan will probably take some time. Remember, however, that it can still be an interesting experience for children! Let’s take this opportunity to learn new attitudes and responsibilities. Working remotely with a child does not have to be an obstacle.
Sustainable remote work – what is it?
The overlapping and complete transfer of work to the sphere of private. The model of remote work for people who have not used such solutions before, may support this tendency. Thus, it is worth clearly defining the time frame of your work, as it was when we worked from the office. Wake up and prepare for the start of the working day should be maintained. And the time saved, e.g. for commuting used for quick adaptation to a specific working day.
In such a model, when all household members stay at home, it is important to have a clear division of home and school duties between parents and children. If it is possible and the child is already independent enough – it is worth setting time for “independent learning and playing” and “learning and playing together”. Let us try to define such a proportion in specific time intervals. When finishing work, the parent should actually quit work, i.e. turn off and leave the computer, and then fully focus on the household members and home space. It may be helpful to go out on a balcony or terrace for 5 minutes and catch a fresh breath and clear your mind of your professional duties.
Remember to take care of yourself and your loved ones – keep a balanced diet, keep a constant time for a portion of fresh fruit and vegetables, introduce habits such as training together or a moment to play. All these elements will help to keep balance and well-being despite the difficulties and challenges of remote work.
Please don’t disturb
Alarm signals. These should be clear messages used in urgent, unplanned situations, e.g. an important phone call, completing an urgent e-mail, a quick response that requires concentration. In order for the signals to be helpful, it is helpful to explain them and state their intentions. Such an explanation is necessary especially for the youngest members of the household. We show that it is not due to ill will, but the work and duties of the parent. We can use a red card or a “no-obstacle” toy. Obviously, this solution is not applicable to infants and young children. In this case, it is necessary to use the support of the other guardian.
What did I like today? What did I not like? What else do we need to work on? Have everyone in your household ask these three simple questions every day. Discuss them together, share your thoughts. Be sure to celebrate joint successes, that is, “a saved emergency phone call and a finished conversation,” a joint lunch at the scheduled time. Try to eliminate at least one thing from the next day that you did not like previously. And so slowly, step by step every day.
Remote work enters into additional roles. It is extremely important to be aware of this diversification in the remote model. The space in which we work becomes a place where professional and private spheres penetrate. We must remember to maintain balance and balance. We don’t have to be perfect in it – let’s try, learn from our mistakes, but most of all let’s talk and communicate everything that is nice, pleasant, but also difficult to organize work from home. We hope that thanks to the above tips, working remotely with a child will not be difficult at all.