As the end of summer approaches, remote employees are beginning to experience new challenges. For working parents in particular, there is likely too much of an overlap of their home and work lives due to the implementation of virtual learning by universities and school systems and the suspension of services by childcare providers. The presence of family members, roommates, and even pets in the remote workspace can be overwhelming for all types of remote workers. Luckily, there are a few tips for surviving remote work that employees can follow.
Anticipate and plan
Planning out each work and family-related task for the day in advance can ensure that all work expectations are met. Family-related tasks can sometimes take more time than you originally anticipated, and therefore should not be dealt with as they come up. Block time for work, and try to incorporate family-related tasks into your breaks. You may even want to consider getting your children on a schedule that corresponds to your work hours. For example, your children can do schoolwork or have TV time at a set time each day.
Be upfront with your boss and team
Meeting expectations at work, while also taking care of young children can be overwhelming. Communicate your circumstances with your boss and team members, and address the aspects of your job that may be impacted. Realistically evaluate the tasks that you can commit to and complete on time. Be careful not to underestimate the amount of time that family-related interruptions will take from your day. This will help you and your employer to address potential issues before they arise.
Communicate with family members and roommates
Open communication is the best way to combat tension between you and the people sharing your remote workspace. Talk to your partner about who will take on certain childcare or home tasks, and explain to family members that just because you are home, you are not necessarily free to give your undivided attention. Share your schedule with your roommates so that they know your work hours, and be clear about your expectations for your shared work environment. For example, you can establish a set of mutually agreed-upon rules for noise, guests, pet care, and sharing technology during work hours.