HOW TO BALANCE WFH

ONLINE SCHOOL, AND A THREE YEAR OLD WITHOUT ABUSING “SCREEN TIME”?

As the coronavirus is spreading quickly, most people of the world who are used to working in an office environment, suddenly they are facing the reality of a new workspace their own home.

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, more than 55,500 schools across the U.S. have been closed, according to Education Week, which published a state-by-state map tracking school shutdown across the country.

Establish a routine

Both children and adults alike prosper on routines so it is important to set out some kind of structure for the day.

“Just make sure you are adding plenty of free play and reading time. If you have a garden, make sure you take advantage of that and spend at least one hour there a day,” Urban says. “Remember we need to be isolated from other people, but generally being outdoors is very beneficial.”

Louise Pentland, a TV presenter, best-selling author and parenting vlogger, adds that while she and her two children – eight-year-old Darcy and two-year-old Pearl – love having a routine, it is so important to be practical about how much you can achieve in a day, specifically when it comes to your child’s education.

For thousands of parents who have been asked to work remotely, this means extra challenges when trying to balance the demands of work life and home life while coronavirus remains a concern.

I have been working from home full-time for about 10 years,” Reynolds, who has a 6-year-old and a 1-year-old, says. I am learning today what is going to work for us in the next few weeks.”

There are five simple tips for implementing an effective work-from-home set-up with your kids.  

1. Create a schedule:

As a mom of a 12 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old, setting a strict schedule that copy that of a normal school day has been helpful to you.

2. Communicate; even more than you think is necessary

It can be helpful to create a spreadsheet with your manager and the rest of your team, where you each outline your exigency contact details and your availability for virtual meetings. You should come together and talk about what’s going to work best for everyone.

3. Set boundaries with your children:

On top of communicating with your colleagues, it’s crucial to set up the boundaries with your kids when working remotely, especially if they’re school-aged.

It may be helpful to allow your kids to watch more TV and play more games than usual in order to keep them engaged. In this event, you need to explain to your kids that this is a special thing, and this freedom won’t go on forever.

Outside of being more flexible about screen-time, you should also tell your kids when you need to be in “do not disturb” mode.

“With my 3-year-old, I had him do a little arts and crafts project where he made me a ‘stop’ sign and a ‘go’ sign for my office door”. “He knows when he sees a ‘stop’ sign that he shouldn’t come in unless some big, crazy thing is going on.

4. Take tech-free breaks:

Although it may feel more “efficient” to eat lunch at your computer, your brain will thank you for taking a break from the screen. Eat lunch while chatting with your family members in the kitchen, looking out a window, or reading a physical book. I find that even when I take a short lunch of about 15 minutes where I simply eat without doing anything else, I feel more peaceful at the end than I did before. I also find that I tend to have a clearer sense of the big picture of what’s occurring in my life and work.

Though you may feel pressured to overextend yourself while working remotely in order to prove to your team that you’re actually working, Reynolds says it’s critical that you carve out time to take a break.

5.  Alternate shifts with your partner:

If you’re in a position where both you and your spouse are working from home, alternating shifts with your partner can make working remotely a lot easier.

If switching shifts with your spouse is not an option, then Campeau, whose husband is not able to work remotely, emphasizes that a strict schedule and extra planning will be key to maximizing your day.

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