By Jason Hatch, Account Executive
One of the biggest challenges facing many working professionals is how they can effectively support their school-aged children while also juggling their full-time professional responsibilities. While working from home certainly has its perks, the struggles that have accompanied this period of educational “distance learning” have been difficult to overcome.
I recently conducted a poll on LinkedIn and learned that there are lots of people in my network that currently face this same challenge. Since my wife and I have experienced success with our work-from-home approach over the past several months, here are some of our top tips to support both your professional duties and duties as a teacher-parent.
1. Communicate with your manager
We all know the value of communication, so this step is of paramount importance. People understand that amid a global pandemic, things have been increasingly hectic and frenzied in our personal lives. If your manager or teammates don’t understand the chaos that has impacted your family or children, they won’t be able to effectively support your needs. Through effective communication, however, you’ll be able to solicit the right amount of assistance to push through adversity.
2. Create a plan—and stick to it
Structure has been critical to our family’s success over the last several months. My wife and I laid the framework of our initial work-from-home plan back in March and have made minor tweaks since then to ensure optimal effectiveness. We both examine each other’s schedules so we can alternate who will play “teacher” during certain parts of the day. This has allowed us to cater to our children’s needs while being present during conference calls and other professional matters.
3. Don’t be afraid to seek help
While all parents will encounter some rough patches during this period of prolonged “distance learning,” there are resources that can help. For example, I have found success in reaching out to my children’s teachers for ideas on what we can do to keep them busy throughout the day. Finding projects, games, or activities that they can work on by themselves with limited parental supervision has been a huge boost to my work productivity. Plus, you can find dozens and dozens of online academic resources, as well. While many parents will be cognizant of their child’s screen time, these tools can be perfect when in a pinch.
4. Give yourself a break—figuratively and literally
For us work-from-home parents, we know that working as a full-time employee and serving as a full-time teacher can be exhausting. That’s why periodic breaks are crucial for maintaining your physical and mental health. Throughout your day, see if you can find time to step away from your desk and give yourself time to breathe. At the end of the day, your well-being is critical to the success of your personal and professional lives!
It appears as virtual learning will continue for the foreseeable future, so I hope these tips and tricks can positively impact your productivity in the months ahead. Although there may be some dark days along the way, always remember: we’re all in this together!