If you’re one of the many of us that have suddenly found yourself working from home, welcome to the club. When the pandemic hit, millions of Americans were thrust headfirst into working where they lived. On top of it all, those of us with kids are also taking on the role of educator (and referee when you have more than one). Here are a few tips to help you stay organized and productive whether you’re working from home now or are just getting ready to start your remote career.
Clean your house.
While keeping your house clean is great every day advice, it’s especially prudent when you’re working, living, and educating from home. We Heave Ho helped lifestyle blogger Jess and her family clean and organize her small, two-bedroom apartment. Even if you have much more space, it likely feels a lot smaller now that everyone is there all the time. Clear the clutter so that you can focus on whatever task you’re working on at the moment.
Learn to stay productive.
One of the easiest things to do when you work from home is to get sidetracked. Add a couple of kids and their math questions to the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster. Learn how to stay focused by first establishing boundaries. Work-From-Home Depot also suggests working when you're most productive, in the morning or night. Importantly, you’ll also need to avoid the temptation to switch between professional mode and parent mode, if possible.
Create a great environment.
Your home now serves as the place you live, the place you work, and the place you teach. In addition to cleaning and decluttering, it might be wise to rearrange your home so that it’s most conducive to all three tasks. Make sure everyone has their own space to plug in and spread out.
Older children, for instance, need a desk and laptop in their bedroom so that they can work on their school without interruption. Younger kids may do better in the office with you. Great Schools cautions, however, that you want to keep distractions to a minimum and suggests reminding your child that, while you need time to work, their education remains important.
Get help when you need it.
If you own a small business or are a freelancer with a little too much on your plate, it may be time to spend the money for a bit of administrative support. Upwork and similar job platforms can help you find additional freelancers – meaning you won’t have to deal with employment taxes – whether you need a virtual assistant, accountant, or simply someone to take phone calls.
Provide all the tools needed.
Obviously, your kids need a computer and fast, reliable internet connection. But there are several other tools that will help everyone stay focused and productive. Fortunately, many of the same technologies can also be put to good use when your kids are ready to switch gears and go into gamer mode. Powerful internet, gaming headphones, a fast mouse, and even an account for online coding classes are all excellent ways to make sure your children are engaged during their online time, whether it is for school or pleasure.
Working from home while trying to educate your kids is never going to be simple. However, by providing everything your family needs, including a clean and organized space, reliable internet, and a dedicated work zone, you can get through the process together. There’s a good chance that many schools will continue to transition in and out of in-person and virtual learning, so the sooner you get yourself and your house together, the better.
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