4 changes in the workplace to help parents working remotely

The stationary work will probably never be the same again. Of the more than 16 million working and active Poles, the vast majority have been forced to switch to the remote working model at one time. The perspective of those bringing up children has also changed, and new challenges have emerged in combining work from home and the duties of a parent. In the face of this transformation many working parents had to verify their professional attitudes. According to the report Pracuj.pl – 8 out of 10 parents believe that remote work caused by the coronavirus pandemic causes greater difficulties than employees who do not have children.

Remote working with a child – start by establishing common rules

Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge is the need to carefully plan not only one’s own work, but above all the schedule for each of the household members. It may be helpful to make household members aware of their professional duties. Tell them about your work, what it is about, what your typical day at work looks like, what elements it consists of. Present what is important to you, what are the results of some behaviors. Parents of school children can use one day of the weekend for the so-called test day, a simulation of a working day. So that the little ones can learn details on neutral ground. This will allow you to practice and understand the new rules of the house. The following tips for parents working remotely will certainly make your work more effective.

Routine a new way to organize your time

It is extremely important to establish a routine and a fixed daily schedule for each household member. Parents of infants or small children should carefully follow and write down the daily schedule including naps, meal breaks, and play for the little ones. This time is essential to maintain balance and a sense of stability and security for both the child and the parent. In this case it is necessary to cooperate and establish a plan of action with the other guardian. For school-aged children such a plan of the day can also be helpful. The routine will allow the child to have a better idea of what stage of the day we are at and what we can expect. The parent is also able to refer to the previously agreed plan and rules. Unfortunately, such solutions often seem to be an idealistic vision of educators and psychologists – it will probably take some time to put this plan into practice. Let’s remember, however, that this can still be an interesting experience for children! Let’s take this opportunity to learn new attitudes and responsibilities. Remote working with a child does not have to be an obstacle.

Balanced remote working – what kind of remote working?

Overlay and complete transfer of work to the private sphere is observed with great concern. The model of remote working for people who have not used such solutions before may be conducive to this trend. Thus, it is worth to clearly define the time frame of your work, just as it was when you worked from the office. Wake up and preparations for the start of the working day should be kept. And the time saved, e.g. for commuting used for quick adaptation to a specific working day.

In such a model, when all members of the household stay at home, it is important to have a clear division of household and school duties between parents and children. If this is possible, and the child is already independent enough – it is worth to set time for “learning and playing on your own” and “learning and playing together”. Let’s try to determine such proportion in specific time intervals. When finishing work, the parent should actually finish the work, i.e. turn off and leave the computer, and then completely focus on the home and home space. It may be helpful to go out to the balcony or terrace for 5 minutes and catch a fresh breath and clear your mind of your professional duties. Remember to take care of yourself and your loved ones – keep a balanced diet, keep a steady time for a portion of fresh fruit and vegetables, introduce habits such as joint training or a moment for fun. All these elements will allow you to maintain balance and well-being despite the difficulties and challenges of remote work.

Please do not disturb

This means the so-called alarm signals. These should be clear messages used in urgent, unscheduled situations, e.g. an important phone call, completion of an urgent e-mail, a quick response that requires concentration. For the signals to be helpful, it is worth explaining them and presenting their intentions. Such an explanation is necessary, especially for the youngest household members. It shows that it does not result from bad will, but from the work and duties of the parent. We can use a red card or a “no bother” toy for this. This solution is, of course, impossible to use among babies and small children. In this case, it is necessary to have the support of a second guardian.

Retrospection is welcome

What did I like today? What did I not like? And what else do we have to work on? Every day, all the people in the household should ask themselves these three simple questions. Discuss them together, share your thoughts. Celebrate your successes together, i.e. “saved emergency call and finished conversation”, lunch together at the scheduled time. Try to eliminate at least one thing from the next day that you did not like before. And so slowly, step by step every day. Remote work causes you to enter into additional roles. It is extremely important to be aware of this diversification in the remote model. The space in which we work becomes a place where the professional and private spheres intertwine. We must remember to maintain balance and balance. We don’t have to be perfect in this – let’s try, learn from our mistakes, but most of all let’s talk and communicate everything that is nice, pleasant, but also difficult for us to organize work from home. We hope that thanks to the above guidelines remote work with a child will not be difficult at all. We also recommend to check how to set priorities in remote work.

Anna Jaskowska

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