Can we be as productive working from home?
Working at home with children
Be realistic: you are highly unlikely to be able to work a full eight to nine hours straight with children around, so trying to keep going when they need your attention is only going to raise your stress levels. You may need to achieve your eight hour day at different times through the day. I often get up early and complete work before my son wakes up or after he has gone to bed as an example, to allow more time during the day to give him attention and still achieve my work goals.
Chunking your time. If you set aside some focussed time to spend with family, it won't feel like a distraction from work, but instead will be part of your planned day. Similarly with work, aim to spend a chunk (maybe a couple of hours or whatever is realistic) to focus on work. You may be more able to focus on work knowing you have some family time coming up.
I find my son is very happy to sit and play for several hours on his own, if we have already engaged in a ‘fun’ activity where he has had my undivided attention for that day or one promised for later – this week’s activities have included – cake making, completing a jigsaw puzzle together and covering his homework set from school.
It is productivity that ultimately matters at times like these. You may not be able to work non-stop during 'working hours' but you can break up your day by at times of the day when you're able to be more productive. Is there time before children are awake or after they go to bed to complete tasks? In my role I find candidates and clients are often hugely appreciative when I am able to speak to them outside of working hours, as this suits their schedules and they are more likely to be able to engage in a more detailed conversation.
Finally: Expel the energy! At some point during the day children need to be active - I encourage my son, Liam to run around on our daily walks as much as is feasible. He is then far happier to sit and occupy himself and I have more time to spend completing my work without interruptions.
Flexing my hours and work location to suit my need to incorporate childcare, has allowed me not only to be more productive but also to achieve a promotion to Business Director.
Time that was spent on what for me was a lengthy commute is now usable and I can work when needed at the times which suit my childcare arrangements - this flexible approach in itself motivates me to achieve.
For everyone working remotely during this unexpected time, I would say it is possible to still achieve your goals and more!