Covid-19 has turned lives upside down all over the world, and one common challenge is looking after children while working from home (WFH). How do you fit in play, education, exercise and those all-important work calls?
Founder of our PR consultancy based near Bath, Jessica Morgan, was featured in a recent article for the Royal Bank of Scotland Business Hub, giving her advice on working from home with children. With children aged eight and five, here are Jess’ best tips for WFH with kids.
Agree times to focus on work
“My husband and I talk about our meetings in advance and what the critical parts of each of our days are. We try to ensure one of us is in the home office, and one is elsewhere and relatively accessible for the children if needed. We also try to tell the children when we’re on calls or have an important project to do and also roughly how long it will take. I find that helps, although they have been known to take it too literally and set a timer!”
“This has been a good time to encourage them to be a bit more independent, which helps us and also is useful for them. They’ve been doing things like helping to prepare their own lunch or snacks, getting themselves fully ready and clearing away their plates. All things we talk about regularly but now they’ve actually realised they can do without prompting! Sticker charts have also been re-introduced.”
Make use of online educational resources
Each evening Jess and her husband print work sheets from various free resources online and their children’s school. They start the children working on them at around 8am so that it’s possible to supervise them before all the client work starts in earnest. “We also set them projects to do, like creating a rainbow for our window and writing down 10 things they want to do on a big sheet that we stick up.” She acknowledges that screen time is a necessity sometimes – so don’t feel you have to replicate a full school day. It’s impossible if you work full time.
Originally featured on The Royal Bank of Scotland Business Hub. To read more of Jess’ advice and thoughts regarding working, read our ‘Time to challenge the ‘more hours = more productive’ equation‘ post.