One of the biggest challenges of working from home for your employees is how to juggle the needs of young children while simultaneously trying to work from home. Parents must somehow juggle work and home life in this new normal, but it’s hard. Here are some tips that employers can share with their remote workforce to help them cope and stay productive.
Set Up Remote Work Routines
Establishing an office space and teaching children some boundaries around when they are allowed to bother Mommy or Daddy is rule one when working from home. Children thrive on routine, and for that matter, it’s key to successfully working remotely for their parents, too. So, set up a routine where the caregiver showers and dresses just as if they were leaving home. Then kiss the kids and go to the designated office space. Hopefully, that space has a door that you can close. Creating this routine with some structured “go to work” activities may help set some boundaries for children and parents struggling to set up some rules for remote work.
Set Boundaries for Communications
Instant messaging tools like Slack are great for immediate dialogue. It’s like stopping by the employee’s workspace to chat. The problem is these digital tools can bleed over into the nights and weekends because it’s so easy to type up a quick message. But this adds a lot of stress on parents who are already trying to set some boundaries between work and home. Employers can help by talking through what their communication and availability expectations are. How long should it take for the employee to respond to a Slack? What time do employees start work each day? What happens if they are away from their keyboard for an hour? Establishing some rules will ultimately create less stress for the remote parent.
Establish Your Flexibility
At the same time, working remotely should feel like a benefit for the employee. Employers must successfully straddle a line between micromanagement and setting rules that benefit everyone. Keep in mind that some days will go well and others should be improved upon. Have a sense of humor about life’s little crises that all parents experience. Managers must learn some flexibility toward workers, and especially those with children. Recognize that this new remote work situation is or can be a little messy for those of us with kids. Try to be understanding, creative, and as supportive as possible. This could include being flexible around the hours the employee works. Perhaps their best work is done during nap time or into the evening. Learn to roll with it—especially if you notice the employee is just as productive as when they came to the office.
We Can Help You Adjust
The trends show that remote work is probably here to stay. It’s a new kind of normal that we’re adjusting to. ADD STAFF works with employers to find the right fit for whatever work environment has normalized at your company. Talk with our team today about how we can help.