How to make your home office more kid-friendly?
Working from home, something many of us have become accustomed to since 2020, can certainly have its ups and downs. No commute and saving on gas are huge perks, but having the distractions of your own home around you at all times can hinder your productivity. Avoiding distractions like Netflix and the pile of laundry waiting to be done just require a little extra willpower. However, there is one distraction that we can’t simply avoid: our children. Successfully working from home as a parent can be difficult, but we can do things to make it easier. Here are a few ways you can make your home office a bit more kid-friendly, so you and your tiny co-workers can all work efficiently and in peace.
Designate separate workspaces
Whether they’ll be doing their virtual schooling in your office or just want to be near you while they color, having a designated place for your children is the first step to creating structure. A desk of their own filled with items like books, games, and art supplies to keep them busy is a great start. This gives them ownership over their space and sets a clear delineation between their workspace and yours. If you’ve ever had your little one climb into your lap during a Zoom call, you’ll appreciate how helpful this separation can be.
Make headphones a priority
Headphones are a lifesaver when working close to others. For you, they add more privacy to your work conversations and can help you drown out distractions. Putting headphones on your little one allows you to work in peace and avoid having to listen to “Baby Shark” on repeat.
Set clear boundaries and expectations
If your job requires you to be on calls throughout the day, it’s important to set up boundaries and expectations around these calls. Find something that you can turn on and off such as a desk lamp, and let your children know that you’re on a call and cannot be interrupted when the lamp is on. As soon as the lamp is off, they’ll know it’s fine to approach. You can choose anything as an indicator, like a sign that you hang in your workspace or even a tchotchke that you put out on your desk. Just find something that lets your kids know when it’s time for quiet, and when it’s OK to get your attention.
Break up your day for better productivity
Breaks are essential. Schedule pauses throughout the day for necessities like lunch, but don’t be afraid to also schedule smaller fun sessions like two-minute dance parties or breaks to go play in the yard. Your children aren’t used to the nine-to-five life, so breaking up the day can help them get through it, and you might even notice a boost in your productivity too.
Working from home as a parent is difficult, but give yourself grace. Trying to make a more kid-friendly home office means your heart is already in the right place. With these small tips, your parenting life and working life can be more balanced and all parties involved may be happier and more productive in no time.