We’ve been working from home with kids for about two years now. But in the last three weeks, it seems like all of a sudden everyone has become an expert on working remotely.
And yep, Google would confirm there’s been a slight uptick in interest in the topic.
As a freelance SaaS PR and communications human, and Aaron, my other half, a SaaS Marketer, we work from home around the kids every day.
Now there have been so many tips and tricks articles around on how to get set up to work remotely, what tools to use, where to sit to be the most productive. But none of them actually deal with the human element and patience it takes to WORK from home with kids.
It ain’t easy but it is possible. And, it’s an art in itself.
The realities of being working parents, most of our clients have sat through calls with one of our kids either sitting on our lap, screaming in the background or trying to take over the call to tell them about the awesome lego tower they just built. It takes patience and most people are pretty understanding. To be honest, they usually have a little chuckle.
Here are a few tricks we use to survive the day, get our work done and grow our businesses.
Set a routine
Routine is important so you know when you can work. Kids don’t always stick to it but it at least it helps you plan! I know our two will have a sleep around lunch if one of us takes them for a run in the morning so I’ll try to be super productive between 12-2pm – you’d be surprised how much you can get through when you have the deadline of a screaming child driving you.
Share the care
They say it takes a village to raise a child and it’s so true.
My husband and I take turns in who is ultimately responsible. If he does the morning, I’ll do the afternoon. So he’ll try to get all his calls and meetings done first up and then I’ll schedule all mine for later in the day or vice versa. That way you can get a clear run at what you need to achieve.
Sleep is a saviour
Align the hard work or calls that you need silence for with sleep times. But ultimately, save work time for naps – you can do conference calls while walking around the backyard with the kids but trying to get them to let you concentrate when you need to do sit-at-the-desk work isn’t easy.
Food solves all
Ply them with snacks – food is currency in our house. If I need them to stay still while I get something finished or make a call, food is usually our go-to.
Be flexible with when you work – sometimes Aaron will get up and work at 3am because he’s awake. He’ll then have a nap or go for a surf during the day to balance it out. Often I’ll sit down at the kitchen bench after dinner for a couple of hours to get through any backlog and free up my morning so I can spend time with the kids.
And if all that fails, noise-cancelling headphones work a treat. 🙂
- Alex Beashel is a digital marketing consultant for SaaS startups and does corporate communications and media relations for a range of SaaS companies.