Top tips on working from home with kids

Whether you have one or multiple children, and whether they're teenagers or toddlers, the life of a working parent is a huge juggling act. Working from home can be challenging enough – add children and parental duties into the mix, and it’s inevitable that some home workers will struggle to maintain focus.

A survival guide for working parents

The global pandemic changed a lot of people’s working lives in various ways, none more so than parents, who had to learn to juggle working from home, whilst their kids were also doing school work online, and babysitting within a matter of days.
Many companies have now permanently adopted some level of flexible working to provide a better work/life balance for employees.

In this handy guide, we are going to provide some top tips to help manage remote working when you have children around.

We’ll be covering all our top tips on working from home with children and how to manage your time as a working parent.

Tips for working from home with children

As our ways of working continue to transform, having children around during work hours is becoming more and more common - especially during seasonal periods such as the summer holidays and the much-anticipated Christmas break.
With that in mind, here are some of our top tips for parents working from home with kids around: 

1. Be honest

One of the best tips is to be completely transparent with your employer and your direct team, letting them know when you have your kids at home with you.

For example, if there’s a half-term coming up, it might be worth reminding them the week before. That way they will know you might need a slightly higher level of flexibility in terms of working hours and deadlines.

With this done, your team will be more likely to understand if you need to step out of a conference call or rearrange a meeting.

2. Find your own schedule

Embracing a hybrid workplace as a parent is also about finding a schedule that works for you, your employer, and your children.

Again, being honest will help you to find timings that work for everyone involved and give you the flexibility to mind your children and work simultaneously. Do you need to work the solid eight hours? Or can you still get your work done in smaller bursts of time?

Finding your own schedule is the best way to juggle your career and family life. Trying to get work done earlier before the little ones wake up, or focusing on getting a highly productive hour in whilst kids are napping can help you fit your life around work more comfortably.

3. Enjoy the additional time together

A few years ago, you may not have imagined a time where you got to spend quality time with your children and carry on with your career at the same time. This is one bonus of the rise of remote working – many employees can now enjoy more time with their families.

Think of ways to get your children involved in your day without disrupting its flow. Simple things like making sure you are eating lunch together or enjoying a walk or some downtime during breaks will help improve everyone’s day.

4. Get advice from other parents

We sometimes forget how many people are in the same situations as us. Finding out what works for other parents who are working from home with kids could help you overcome logistical challenges, and vice versa.
They may suggest something that has been working from them which could be invaluable to you. Sharing experiences can also help to reduce stress as you navigate the world of hybrid and flexible working.

There are also plenty of online resources, such as Working Families, that offer great career guidance, mental health support, and additional information for working parents.

5. Set clear boundaries

By now, chances are you already have a home office set up for yourself. This is your dedicated workspace, so make sure you set clear boundaries with your children when they are in the house, so they know what they can and can’t do while you are working from home.
This could be as simple as keeping the door shut when you’re on calls, and telling your kids that this means they can’t come in or make too much noise.

6. Define expectations

It’s important to set expectations early for yourself, your family and your employer. Being upfront about the challenges or limitations you’re facing when working from home can help your team to support you and create better schedules.
This will go a long way in limiting the distractions and interruptions that can come with working at home with kids.

How to manage your time as working parents

Being able to spin a lot of plates is key for any parent, and sometimes it can be overwhelming and tiring. It is important to take the time to relax and minimise your stress.

Here are a few handy pointers to help you manage your time: 

🤹Prioritise - If you find yourself not being able to get everything done, try and find the most important tasks and focus on getting those done first.

💪Adapt - It will become apparent fairly quickly that you can’t work at home with your children in the same way you do in the workplace. Adaptability and flexibility are an important part of time management at home.

⏰Set reminders - This may seem simple, but setting reminders and keeping notes either on your phone or via an automated system like Alexa can help you organise and balance all your key tasks.

🤝Negotiate - Being open and honest with your colleagues and boss can also help you manage your time better. If you have this conversation, you’ll be able to work effectively with colleagues and also be adaptable when parental duties call. It may be that you work earlier, so you can finish at a time that fits your kids’ schedules, or create another beneficial arrangement.  
⌚Organise your time - Set out blocks of time to get certain things ticked off your to-do list and try to stick to those timings. For example, setting aside some time every day to answer emails, have phone calls or video calls, or work on a certain project, will help you get tasks done in smaller pieces

What’s next?

Check out more helpful advice on how to be happy at work, whether you’re working from home or in the office.

Looking for more flexibility than your current role can offer? Get in touch with one of our expert consultants today for an in-depth conversation about your next career move. 

Get in touch

Are you earning what you're truly worth?

Download our salary guide to find how much you could be earning.

Download our salary guide

Are you happy at work?

Take our quick and easy quiz to find out your next career move.

Take our quiz: Steer your career

Looking for a new role?

Check out similar roles in your sector to see what else is on offer.

View our live roles