If you've suddenly found yourself telecommuting with a little one (or two!) at home and aren't sure how to balance getting anything done, here are a few tips to help you balance work/parenting during the COVID-19 crisis.
1. Alternate Parenting Shifts
If you and your partner/spouse are both working from home, create a schedule that allows each of you the time needed to get your work done and discuss it with your manager. If that means you each work in 2 hours shifts spread out over the course of the day to make sure the children are being looked after and entertained, make that schedule clear with your partner, your children and your manager.
2. Adjust the Expectations of your Team
If you are a single parent, or your partner/spouse isn’t able to work from home but you are, communicate your circumstances with your manager. This is a difficult time for everyone, and communicating your circumstances with your team is the first step in finding a creative solution.
Come prepared with your list of responsibilities and when you’ll be able to complete them. That might mean proposing a more flexible schedule so you can work during the evening when your partner comes home or when your children are sleeping. If deadlines need to be adjusted, give your team a realistic timeline rather than leaving it open-ended.
Communication is key right now. As your circumstances change or new information becomes available, check-in with your manager and your team and update each other.
3. Incentivize Good Behavior
Stock up on foods and snacks your children enjoy so you can give them as treats for good behavior, like quietly playing while momma has a 30-min conference call. Also, provide your kids lots of activities so you can be productive while supervising them. We’ve listed a few options in our prior blog post here.
Don't reveal all the good treats or activities all at once. Prevent boredom and keep them excited by spreading out what you have over the course of days or a couple of weeks, if possible. Alternatively, you can give snacks in rotation every few days.
Have any tips to share with our community? Post a comment below! We'll update this blog post as new ideas come to us.