Balancing Home and ‘Work from Home’

The COVID19 virus has posed a sort of existential crisis in front of the human race, straight out of a Netflix thriller, except that it is not, and this is one for real. As the health workers and leaders work overtime to contain the spread and medical researchers try to find a solution to the crisis, citizens around the world are being asked to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. This has meant companies around the world asking their employees to work from home.

Home environments are not immune to distractions. Especially in present circumstances when kids and the entire family are confined to home, interruptions can be plenty. Hence there may be a tendency to attend to these distractions and consequently procrastinate work, especially for those who are not used to the idea of working from home.

Here are a few practical tips for handling work and kids during COVID-19 lockdown:

Start early
Make sure you start your day earlier than everyone at home. This will give you some quiet time to work and also plan the rest of your day. I always do it and make sure I can serve them hot tea and breakfast when they wake-up.

Plan your day and of your kids
Planning the day means listing out the tasks to be completed and also prioritizing them. Good planning helps in handling distractions at home, as you tend to finish the urgent tasks first and then the important but not urgent ones. For me the online classes for my students are urgent and important that need to be done always at the scheduled time, however, the daily reports that I have to send are important and I can always space them out, yet complete them in time.

Handle Distractions
Don’t get flustered when distractions occur at home. They are expected and are bound to happen. Address the urgent ones, and postpone the one that can wait. But be sure to communicate how you intend on handling a situation so that other members family understand it as well.

Be Flexible
You cannot work at home, the way you work at the office. Managing distractions at home needs you to be flexible. Be flexible when you complete your work and where you do it. I work at times from my bedroom, at times from the living room, when everyone else is watching Netflix. Flexibility always helps.

Synchronize Mealtimes
If you have work throughout the day, then make sure you can synchronize your mealtimes with your family. That way you get to spend some time with them and also have a healthy conversation. This in itself will avoid a lot of distractions and disturbances.

Foster teamwork at home
Encourage a spirit of teamwork at home, especially among kids, to do the household chores together. The kids can help by making their own beds, arranging their own stuff and at times helping with small tasks at home. This makes managing easy and kids also tend to become more independent.

Encourage kids to pursue hobbies
Keep kids busy constructively. Hobbies are a great way of doing it. Encourage them to pursue their hobbies, develop new ones. Also, make sure you reward them for creative and responsible work that they do.

We are living in unusual times and to make sure we can balance our work from home and home better, we need to make small changes in the way we live and work. I hope these practical tips isolated from my experience would help you.


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