Parenting While Working From Home
As many employees continue working from home, juggling work and family life can be tricky.
So let’s talk about some ways to approach balancing work life and home life now that they’ve combined.
*This blog is adapted from the HR Party of One episode, Parenting While Working From Home which you can view below.
If you are a small to medium sized company, along with reminding your employees of their available benefits, one thing you can do is reach out to your co-workers for advice and to share experiences. For example we shared a post on Zoho Connect, our company wide social/communication tool, asking team members to share tips and tricks they’ve learned to make it through the day. They responded with a variety of great tips to make working from home easier. Not only is it a useful way to come up with new approaches, but it also helps employees feel connected over common issues.
After discussing with our team we landed on three different approaches to achieving balance. The Structured Approach, The Flexible Approach, and The Divide & Conquer Approach. Let’s break these down.
The Structured Approach
The Structured Approach splits the workday into morning and afternoon shifts. So one parent works in the morning while the other covers parenting duties, then they trade off in the afternoon. The nice thing about this is that each parent knows when they will have uninterrupted time on their schedule for working, deep focus, and meetings and can plan their work week accordingly. It provides “structure” so they aren’t constantly juggling who is watching the children. The downside to this is that well …life happens, some meetings might not fit into your ideal schedule so there could still be some juggling going on.
The Flexible Approach
The second approach is called the Flexible Approach and it’s a little more fluid than the Structured Approach. With it, both parents split time during the day watching the kids. It requires more communication than the structured approach, such as planning out a few days ahead of time to see who has important video calls, due dates, and deadlines that have to be accounted for. Based on those priorities parents then trade parenting to work around each other's schedule. Additionally, one parent can wake early to knock out work before the children wake up and the other can get an hour or two of work in at night after the children have gone to bed.
Divide and Conquer
The third approach is called Divide and Conquer, and it involves splitting the parenting so that one parent watches one child while the spouse watches the other. This can be useful if one parent's work requires a lot of deep uninterrupted focus. It’s going to be tough for them to get anything done if there is a toddler running around non-stop, so in this case they would take the lower maintenance child.
Hopefully you and your family are getting to take advantage of this opportunity of forced togetherness to become closer and make some great memories. Having a plan in place to provide the kids with structure and manage your work day will make life a lot more pleasant.