As much of a godsend it can be to work at home, sometimes there are a lot of issues that we have to contend with, especially if you are working parents. And, as nice as it is to spend more time with your children, if you’ve got a very pressing work task ahead of you, the last thing that you want is your child coming into your office and trying to climb all over your keyboards.
Anyone who saw that video of the news interview recently where the child wanted to play with the interviewee might have chuckled, but for those who work at home they probably thought “yep, that’s me!” So, what can we do to help maintain a positive home environment with our children, but also a productive one, one where your child won’t delete your work by accident?
Backup Your Data
Luckily if you spend most of your day on word processor programs, or even Google Docs, they will save your work automatically, so you can easily retrieve these documents. But for those who work with most sophisticated programs, you may benefit from enlisting an IT support company to help make backups of your data or retrieve information that has been lost.
Lots of IT companies back up data on a very regular basis. So if you are the manager of a company and you work from home exclusively, this will be one way to prevent major headaches.
Implement A System
This is much easier to achieve as your children get older, but the first thing you have to do is sit down with your child and establish some boundaries. Something as simple as having your office door closed completely should be reiterated as a signal that you are working and cannot be interrupted. And if the door is half open, this means your child can come in but needs to be quiet.
Also, it’s important to let your child know when they can interrupt you, such as in an emergency. Signals and systems are key to communicating with your child when they can interrupt you and when they cannot.
Set Your Times To Work
This is probably the most important aspect of any work at home scenario, especially if your children are too young to understand the importance of deadlines. The best thing for you to do would be to set a clear schedule, including times when you are working, taking breaks, and when you are done for the day.
They say this is the key to working at home, setting office hours, but you need to set them a bit more liberally than the standard 9 to 5. Part of the reason you are working at home is to spend more time with your children, so, instead of working between the hours of 9 and 5, you may want to work between 8 and 6, which allows you more time to intersperse quality time with your children.
If your children respect your boundaries, this means they will interrupt you a lot less, which is the key to, not just maintaining a positive working environment at home, but also a good quality relationship with your child.