For many, working with young children by your side or with multiple family members squished into a room is a situation no-one could have prepared for. In this blog, Dave Beesley, PR Director at B2BML, provides his top tips for juggling work life and children during lockdown.
As we enter the seventh week of lockdown, there is a growing admiration for those who have continued business as usual while simultaneously entertaining their little ones or shut away in large households.
There is no doubt that this period of instability has introduced a lot of work/life adjustments, with a lot of key lessons learned and shared between workers along the way.
So, in the spirit of tackling this together, we thought it would be nice to interview Dave Beesley, PR Director at B2BML, to find out the lessons he's learnt so far during his time in isolation with children.
Here's his four top tips he has to share ...
Have a set routine
Hardly ground-breaking but having a routine for kids is essential. We started by setting the routine, but what works better is allowing everyone to have an input into the routine. We start with PE with Joe (every day is a leg day it seems!), but then we can do painting, making dens, trampolining or just sitting quietly and reading.
I would also stress how important it is to get outside wherever possible – for a walk, cycle or run. It really does help to change the scenery and can diffuse any pent-up frustrations (with your children or partner!)
Divide and conquer
If you live with your husband/ wife/ partner and have kids then manage your time with your kids so that you get some of your own time to chill – or exercise, whatever floats your boat. Spending time separately with your children will not only give you opportunities to connect with them, but it will also give you stories to share with your partner so that you can share experiences.
Being at home all the time is the perfect opportunity to level the parenting playing field so that neither of you feel left to cope with the kids all the time, whilst the other sits in the office/ spare room, shielded from the tantrums and the teenage angst.
Find a moment to reset
Find time to have your own space. I’ve realised that I took those moments to myself for granted. Where you can be alone in your own thoughts or just concentrate on something without interruption. If you think about it, pre-lockdown the people you spend the most time were your work mates, now it’s your family. I’m reminded of the old adage “You can choose your friends, but not your family”, and sometimes your family has a real knack for pushing all the right buttons!
Having your own time/ space helps to release any tensions and allows you to just reset a little.
Recognise the times of the day when you’re most productive, and plan to tackle the most challenging parts of your job during those times. There is no right or wrong time to work when you’re working from home, the key thing is to make sure work is done on time and to the same standard expected if you were in the office.
Also, don’t beat yourself up for taking breaks or longer lunch breaks. With the daily commute gone, many people may find themselves working longer hours – so take an hour for lunch, go for that walk, enjoy sitting in the sun (while it lasts).
Working from home while looking after children is not an easy task. But with the support from your employer or those in similar positions, we hope we can support each other to make it at least that little bit easier.