One of the known perks of working in or studying IT is having options to do it remotely, be it a hybrid or a 100% work-from-home set up. However, while this is definitely advantageous for most (think reduced travel and food expenses, comfortable and safe working environment, etc.) it can also draw a lot of challenges for some, especially for parents.
We’ve all seen some videos of kids meeting-bombing their parents during the rise of remote work in the last 2 years and although it’s really cute, it can be stressful to experience it firsthand regularly. As much as you’d love spending time with your kids, the blurring of boundaries while working or attending trainings may have negative effects on either your work/studies or your quality time with your family—in worse cases, on both. You might feel like you’re being a bad parent while having no work done.
No worries, because here are some helpful tips on how to play both parts like a pro:
Have a “No-Access” Dedicated Workstation
When working or studying in the comforts of your home, it’s tempting to just work anywhere—from your table to the couch then to the bed, and maybe back to the table again (if you have a meeting). However, this shows your kids that you’re completely accessible during your working hours.
Having a dedicated working station mimics an office space in your home and while kids can be kids, making it off limits to them makes them respect your working hours. A fun way to do this is to put up a big cartoonish sign and explain to your kids what it means when it’s up. It’s also important that you teach your kids how to approach you when important matters arise (and define what important matters are).
Establish a Family Schedule
As a parent, you may already have a weekly and daily schedule outside of work such as doing groceries and preparing your kids’ meals or snacks. While you work or study at home, you can use this to your advantage.
Do meal preps every three days so you don’t have to do it daily. Do your tedious tasks while your kids are napping or while they do homework or other activities. Have your coffee breaks at the same time as your kids’ snack time so you can do it together.
You may also have some Weekday (or working day) House Rules. What’s important is that the kids are greatly involved in the schedule planning and that they are briefed on it.
Alternate Tasks with Your Partner
As part of establishing your family schedule, make it something that also works with your partner’s schedule. You are a team who watches over your kids, so work out a schedule where at least one parent can be accessible to your kids when one can’t. The best way to do this is to dissect it into small time frames like every hour or every two hours during both of your working clocks. This way, you’ll already have an idea of where to do your most demanding tasks.
Dedicate some Quality Time During and After
Working on lunch breaks should be a big NO. Although deadlines and urgent tasks may require it from time to time, avoid it when you can as it will make working remotely overwhelming. Take this time instead to check on your kids and have that little quality time within your working hours. It’s called a break from a reason. Have some lunch together, watch their favorite shows with them, and do some activities they love.
When your shift ends, also make it a habit to leave all your work on your dedicated station and intently spend some quality time with your family. Discuss how the day was over dinner and maybe watch a movie after. Tuck them in and get some quality rest of your own.
Make Room for Adjustments
Lastly, while it’s ideal to stick to the plan, you don’t have to be strict about it. Use it as a guide but expect unplanned circumstances—a lot of them. Don’t let it stress you out, but enjoy and cherish every moment of it. Affirm your kids and commend them for being responsible, appreciate your partner for being the best teammate, and you’ll be a pro-Work-From-Home parent in no time.
Yellow Tail Tech Infrastructure Director Shares His Parenting Experience While Working from Home
Thiery Louis, our current Infrastructure Director who’s also an alumnus, is a father to Maël Theodore Louis, whom he describes as a “happy and intelligent kid.”
“Working from home is super fun because I can see my son whenever I want, and it’s a great opportunity to be present in my son’s life and see him grow up,” He said. “My favorite part is having lunch with my family and going to the park with my son on my lunch breaks.”
Thiery also sh
ared that his memorable event with Maël while working remotely is when his son was playing with my guitar and dancing.
If you’re interested in breaking into IT so you can also enjoy the best of being a parent and having a rewarding job at the comforts of your home, we offer 100% online training programs that are paced to get you from zero to job ready. Book a 10-minute intro call with our Enrollment Advisor!