5 Ways to Juggle Working From Home and Fatherhood

As Father’s Day approaches, we’re calling all dads who work from home. We want to give you a helping hand.

If working from home is more the norm than the rare occurrence, you’ll be well aware that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Keeping focus is a challenge, loneliness beckons, as does your cozy bed. Then you throw children into the mix, and any ideas of using the precious hours you once spent commuting to come up with big ideas, learn Spanish, or go for long cross country runs really goes out the window. Here’s our survival guide for all those home working dads out there:

1. Be honest about your predicament.

We’ve all watched, cringed and then laughed at the recent professor’s interview with BBC News when his children took the limelight. No doubt many of you have been in that very spot, well maybe not giving an interview to the BBC, but doing your best to conduct a work call with your little people wreaking havoc in the background.

The best thing you can do in these situations is to be upfront and honest about your tricky predicament. You’ll also find that most people on your call have also been there or will at the least understand it’s not the easiest situation to be in. And as your son/s or daughter/s starts taking their crayons to your laptop screen while singing their ABCs at the top of their voice, you might just find your rapports with colleagues or customers get that little bit stronger. We’re all human, after all!

When all else fails and you feel like you’re really not going to have a constructive call, you can use your team messaging app, such as Glip, to let your colleagues know in real time that now is not the best time.

2. Plan your time carefully.

If you know your children are going to be at home when you’re working, be realistic about what you can get done. Of course, it’s not always possible, but this will stop you from feeling like you’re going to lose it with multiple deadlines looming as Play-Doh and soccer balls hurtle by. If you can schedule some downtime throughout the day when you can spend a short time with your munchkins, all the better. You might just go back to work feeling refreshed, while your children may also feel sated enough to give you some quiet time to get your work done, maybe.

If you share your childcare with a partner or a childcare provider, plan to do your best work when your children are being looked after or entertained out of sight.

3. Schedule some time to yourself.

Working from home while trying to juggle time with your family can be exhausting. Make sure you make some time for yourself to unwind. Sometimes it may mean putting it on your calendar so you don’t forget, but do it — it’s crucial for your sanity!

If your home is your workplace, try and keep your work in a separate room. This will allow for a psychological, as well as a physical, division between your personal and work lives.

4. Be prepared for anything.

As you’re well aware, as is our BBC professor, anything can happen when children are thrown into what should be a professional and organized situation. Whatever it is that keeps your children distracted, keep it on hand as back up: a tablet loaded with your child’s favorite games (I know the parenting gods will not be happy, but needs must), cartoons paused on your TV, sticker books and lots of snacks. Preparation is key!

5. Get out of the house, if possible

If you’re not the primary caregiver on any given day and someone else is on hand playing that role, GET OUT! Run to your nearest café and set up your mobile office. Revel in the gentle hum of coffee house tunes and the chaos of someone else’s children and delight in the fact that you can simply pop in your earphones and get some quality work done!

So there you have it. Happy Father’s Day from the Glip team! We at least hope that work is far from your mind this weekend and your little ones make the day extra special.

For more on avoiding the pitfalls of remote working, check out our post: 5 remote collaboration pitfalls told in gifs.

The Collaboration with Glip blog publishes news about Glip, RingCentral’s team messaging and collaboration platform, and broader ideas about productivity in life and business. Find out more and try Glip for free.

Source: Medium:Remote Working
5 Ways to Juggle Working From Home and Fatherhood

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