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Juggling work at home with kids

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20th-Mar-2020       
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Weekend Plus Desk :
Amid the current worldwide lockdown because of the Coronavirus outbreak, parents and kids are stuck at home. Most parents have taken to working remotely and with kids off from school; it becomes difficult for them to manage work and kids together. Kids demand a lot of attention, especially when they are at home and have nothing to do.
Here are five tips to effectively juggle between your work and kids when you are working from home.
Create a schedule
It helps to create a schedule that mimics that of a normal school day. Wake up your kids at the same time that they wake up for school and make a proper timetable that your kids can follow. If your kids have a timetable to follow, it gives you more time to spend on work. They disturb you lesser. You can also get most of your work done during their lunchtime and while they are asleep.
Communicate with your co-workers
Communication is key when you must be working remotely for so long. Always keep your colleagues informed if you must attend to your kids. While on a conference call you can always give your fellow workers a heads up if your children enter the room. Tell your co-workers explicitly if there is some time of the day you might not be available. It is okay to say that you will not be available for half an hour at 1:00pm. The key is to stick to the time when you promised you will be back to work.
Set boundaries with your kids
Even though you have a lot of leverage from your co-workers given the current situation, you should set boundaries with your kids as well. They should be told explicitly when they can disturb you and when they cannot. A good way to do this is to put signs in front of your home workspace which tells your kids if they can enter the room or not.
This is more important for parents who do not have a separate workspace at home to make sure you have a quiet and excluded place where you can work.
Taking breaks is important
It is natural to want to do extra work when you are at home. However, it is equally important to take breaks. For every hour of concentrated work take a 10-minute break.
Use this break to grab a snack and spend some time with your kids.
Alternate shift with your partner
If both you and your partner are both working from home, it is effective to take shifts. One of you can get work in the morning and the other can manage waking up the kids and making breakfast and then the other can take over.
This gives both parents equal time concentrating on work and spending time with kids. It is important to set a water-tight timetable for both the parents so ensure there is no miscommunication. n

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