It’s now been a few weeks of working from home and you’ve realized that it’s not quite a walk in the park – especially if you have a spouse and children at home. Even people who are considered “seasoned veterans” of working from home, now have challenges of working remote with additional family members around them. Below are five tips on how to work from home with a family to make sure that you don’t have to take your next conference call from the master bedroom closet:
1. Think of The Big Picture and Make a Plan
If it is your first time working from home, you have to make a plan on how you will act on the work tasks that will come your way. You have to schedule yourself – what is the best time and place to make calls? Where can I sit and complete some administrative tasks while making sure little Johnny is online for his virtual classes? You may need to alternate home duties with your spouse that is also working from home, but communication is key and don’t underestimate the challenges that will follow.
2. Have a Conversation With Your Boss and Colleagues
It is very important to stay on top of your game and continue to go above and beyond for your job duties. Working from home may be a privilege during this time, but don’t take advantage of it. If you are open and honest with your boss and team about your unique circumstances – make sure you voice any obstacles that may come in your way or if any parts of your job may be impacted while working from home. It’s important for them to understand the situation, so that they can offer solutions or rearrange tasks with others.
3. Change Priorities and Deadlines
Your goal should be to successfully fulfill the essential parts of your job while at the same time care for your family. Confirm what is really essential and move out deadlines of initiatives that are no longer as important as they were a few weeks ago. Projects have inevitably moved and you want to focus on what CAN be done in the present time. Stay in regular contact with your team to make sure you get feedback on priorities and deadlines.
Manage and optimize your stamina. This means eat foods rich in nutrients, drink lots of water, get as much rest as you can and try to stay active. It’s extremely easy to get lazy during these times, but it can become a bad habit that’s bad to break. These bad habits then leave you crabby the next workday and you won’t be able to take on your workload, which keeps getting piled. Tell yourself that everyone around you will benefit from being around a happier you.
5. Communication is Key
While communicating with your boss and team is extremely important, it’s just as important to communicate with your spouse and family about expectations at home. Talk about the established ways no longer working in this new setting. It’s important to discuss shared responsibilities and what needs to change. Whatever it is, share your thoughts early; waiting until you are frustrated will lead to blaming each other or completely failing on all tasks.
You will learn that change is hard. Don’t get hung up on little things and take baby steps. This is certainly a difficult lifestyle, but once you’ve established a routine, both you and your spouse will be proud of your abilities to adapt in such tough situations.