Quarantine Productivity: How To Balance Work And Family Time

The ongoing pandemic has prompted many businesses to consider shifting to remote work. Working at home has benefits, such as eliminating wasted time through transportation and saving on gas.

However, a significant concern for people working at home is how to balance work duties with the many demands of the household. Learning how to be productive while still finding time for family will be crucial for the months and years to come.

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Be Careful With Expectations

Before anything else, learn to set realistic expectations about your situation. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring for higher productivity. However, realize that while you now have more time to spare, you also have to contend with more distractions.

Parents who are new to remote working frequently find themselves surprised to know that working at home is more complicated than it sounds.

Remember also that we are amid a pandemic; the weeks ahead will continue to be difficult, so give yourself some slack. Stop comparing yourself to standards that call for immense levels of productivity. Not everyone would find themselves twice as productive as before.

For many, being able to do the same tasks might even be a challenge. Accept that your performance might not be consistent, at least during the initial transition phase. 

Enlist The Help Of Family Members

The best way to prevent future arguments is to make comprehensive plans with your family. Find time so that you can all discuss your need for distraction-free times.

While you might think that your kids might not understand, you might find out that they also need their own pockets of time. Planning together ensures that everyone understands each other’s needs, making it easier to cooperate.

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You should establish times when kids shouldn’t disturb you, except for emergencies. At the same time, set specific times for family interaction. You can also work on communication strategies, such as hand signs to indicate that you’re currently busy.

An excellent activity would be to familiarize your kids with video conferencing tools to build up their communication skills and help them understand proper etiquette.

Planning shouldn’t only involve the children. Make sure to sit down also with your partner to discuss task delegation. If both of you are working remotely, you need to carefully plan out the days to get work done while still setting time for leisure.

Distribute the workload evenly to avoid resentment and adopt alternating routines so that there’s always someone available to care for the kids.

Set Routines And Boundaries

More than ever, your personal time management skills will largely determine your success in remote work. If you can get your job done in less time, you will be able to devote more time to taking care of the household.

A crucial part of enhancing productivity is to set routines for scheduling your day since having planned schedules for both work and family frees up your mind to focus on actual work.

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While multitasking can be tempting, avoid doing it. You might feel that you’re accomplishing more while multitasking, but in reality, you’re wasting time as your mind repetitively shifts from one task to another.

Given the less structured environment of remote working, it’s easy to fall into the multitasking trap. However, fight the temptation by focusing on one task at a time and shutting down distractions.

Failing to set specific periods for the family means that you’ll likely allow work to spill into your time. You should also dedicate particular spaces in your home for remote work, such as a room that doesn’t see a lot of activity.

Block out parts of your day solely for household tasks. Maintaining a strict division between personal and professional aspects of your life is vital in ensuring work-life balance. 

Communicate Concerns With Your Work Team

Aside from planning with your family, you should also discuss concerns with your superiors and colleagues. Many companies aren’t used to letting people work at home, and your feedback can help them make better decisions for their employees.

Check to see if your work hours can be adjusted to accommodate the needs of your family better. Discuss plans for deliverables, and don’t be afraid to voice concerns if you feel that schedules need to be more accommodating. 

A lot of companies have programs that can help workers transition to remote working. They might have free courses on virtual workplace software or they may even allow you to bring company tech into your home.

Some workplaces go the extra mile through programs such as housekeeping services, allowing you to focus more on work.

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Don’t Be Afraid To Employ Help

Finally, don’t hesitate to recruit help if you are struggling to keep up with work and home demands. Housekeeping services can quickly free up several hours per day. An added perk is that you’re giving housekeeping staff a source of livelihood.

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