Teleworking and children: a possible combination?

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Robert Maurer

Teleworking and children: a possible combination?

Many people these days are busy with teleworking. But how can you do it when there are children in the house?

Last update: May 05, 2020

You are in the middle of a business meeting and suddenly the youngest appears asking you to help him find his toy. You tell him to wait but he doesn't let go "No, I want it now!". If this situation is familiar to you, you know how much frustration and nervousness it can generate. There are times when teleworking and children seem irreconcilableInstead, there are strategies to avoid setbacks and intelligently manage potential conflicts.

During the break-in period of teleworking, it is normal to feel a little disoriented. Out of the blue, the home environment becomes an office and a classroom. It is worth learning to manage this exceptional situation so that there is time for everything: working, helping the children with their homework, cooking, cleaning ...

Tips to reconcile telework and children

Establish schedules, but also be flexible

Combining telework and children requires a roadmap that everyone must commit to respecting. When should I focus on work? What time do the children get up?

The answers to these two questions, and others, will give you the right clues to organize your time and avoid interruptions during the working day. Let us remember, however, that we are talking about children. Flexibility, therefore, is the watchword.

On the other hand, while establishing the working hours with precision, with children at home and poor control of the situation, it is normal that unforeseen events arise and it is necessary to take action. If your children are already older, you can give them five minutes per hour to resolve their doubts and problems.

But even in this way, with clear agreements and children willing to respect timetables, unexpected interruptions must be foreseen. The main challenge, therefore, lies in the desire to maintain a positive attitude. For example, in these moments, breathing control can be a good ally.

Teleworking and children means that the working day cannot be eight consecutive hours, but you will have to adapt the time available to the rhythm of your children to avoid interruptions. Perhaps, you might want to get up early to get on with your work. This is up to you to decide, based on your children's activation curve throughout the day.

"The solution is not to prioritize how your schedule is structured, but to build a schedule for your priorities."

-Steven Covey-

Dialogue is essential

Another indispensable point. In order for telework and children to become a possible combination, it is necessary to reach an agreement. Children do best when they understand what is going on in their environment and why it is important that they do their part too.

It is necessary to maintain an open dialogue with the little ones, making them understand the situation. Let's explain, then, why you have to stay indoors and that there are times of day when we appreciate that they engage in quiet activities or to do with a good dose of autonomy.

In this way, although on occasion they may claim our attention, they will know that we are at home, but that we are working, so they will better evaluate when it is time to interrupt us.

Separate the spaces between teleworking and children

Separating spaces is an excellent strategy to ensure that all members of the family are dedicated to a specific activity. For example, no interruptions are allowed in the area where you work and at set times. There will also be an area of ​​the house where children study and do their homework.

To facilitate this, try to come up with a little game to help make the children feel more involved. In this way they will be aware of the existence of an area where mum or dad work, the school area where they have to stay concentrated and the play area. By doing this, teleworking will be much easier.

"All the most important lessons in life are received by playing."

-Francesco Tonucci-

But above all, to be able to enjoy the experience of teleworking with our children, let's not forget that the separation of environments must also help us to spend quality time with the family. This means playing with the children, talking, reading a story together, making them feel cared for.

In Spain, the newspaper La Vanguardia is sharing the diary that an eight-year-old boy started writing from the first days of quarantine. This activity allows you to describe feelings, experiences, to give color to emotions and thoughts. Without a doubt, it is an enriching job that can be very interesting to do together, adults and children. Are you also facing the teleworking and children challenge? How are you managing it?

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