As I’ve mentioned a few times here, 2020 has been a really tough year for so many of us. It’s all down to the Covid-19 pandemic and it still strikes me as amazing that a virus can cause so much carnage. But the truth is that the pandemic has hit families in a whole host of ways. Many parents have been forced to work from home as well as keep the children home from school and deal with all that entails. It has not been easy!
I’ve worked from home for over ten years now but I’ll be the first to admit that this year has been the hardest ever. I’ve worked at home whilst juggling a baby on my knee, dealing with poorly children and everything else that happens in normal family life. But this year has been the very first time that I’ve worked from home as well as trying to homeschool three children. At times it has felt like an uphill struggle and there were days when I really did have to force myself to battle through it. I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. But as I’ve worked from home for so long anyway, I do think I was in a far better position to cope than those who were forced to stay home all of a sudden.
Tips for successful home working
Depending on the layout of your home and the age of your children, there are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance of successfully working from home.
Have a dedicated working space
Whether it’s a dedicated office or just a corner of the kitchen table, it’s important to have somewhere you can take yourself when it’s time to sit down and do some work.
Know when to switch off
One of the biggest issues with working from home is not knowing when to switch off. It’s so easy to keep logging in to your work emails or quickly doing little jobs. But, it’s really, really important to strike the right work/home life balance, particularly if you’ve got children. Make sure that you set yourself specific working hours and try to stick to them as much as possible. This gives you the chance to make time to spend with the kids too which is really important.
Consider whether it’s time to move
Many companies are likely to keep their staff working from home for the longer term. The pandemic has forced businesses to rethink their practices and their running costs. It’s actually far cheaper to have staff working from home and many of them are actually more productive at home too. If you’re likely to be working from home for the foreseeable future, then you might actually want to think about whether it’s worth moving house. This might sound extreme but it’s actually something we’re working towards doing next year. The truth is that many family homes just aren’t built with the space to work from home and all have individual space to relax too. This is what we will be looking for in our next home.
If moving might make your life easier, then spend a little time working out the costs and you might find it’s more achievable than you think. I’ve been using mortgage calculators to figure out how much we will be able to afford. It’s important to do this before you start looking at properties as it gives you a realistic idea of what you can and can’t afford.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
As parents, we can be guilty of being incredibly tough on ourselves. I know that I regularly doubt myself and worry that I’m just not good enough! Focus on what you can do and make a conscious decision to let other things slide a little. These are unprecedented times and all we can do is try our best to get through them as best as we can. Children are resilient and they adapt to change better than we give them credit for. I guarantee that you are doing a great job and we will get through this!