As the world goes into lockdown, we can expect more and more companies to send their workers packing, requesting that they set up shop at home. Hooray! Working from home – no need to commute, pack lunches or even put on pants.
Except for one minor problem. The kids.
Because, odds are, we are going to have our kids home with us as well. We’re predicting workplaces, daycares and schools are going to shut in the upcoming days or weeks and many parents are already choosing to keep the kids at home and practice self-isolation or social distancing. Plus, we’ve got school holidays coming up.
So how can you successfully get a few hours of work from home done – maybe six hours, tops – and ensure the kids don’t burn the house down?
Our step-by-step guide is sure to help. Or at least give you an excuse to start day drinking at noon.
10 steps to successfully clocking in a day of work from home
1. Get up at some godawful hour to sort out food for the day
Chop fruit and veggies, make platters, place tiny portions in a convenient place to give the kids easy access to food all day long. Check out this mum’s ultimate snack hack for tips on how to master the fridge set-up below.
Then prepare for them to complain that there’s nothing to eat every 17 minutes.
While you’re up at ridiculous-o-clock, you might as well fire up the ol’ laptop and get an hour of work done. It may be your only chance to do so today in silence.
2. Set up a brekkie buffet so the kids can serve themselves.
A spoon, a bowl, milk, and cereal. I mean, how hard can it be? Just ignore the Rice Bubbles are over the floor for the next 8-9 hours.
3. Bring out ALL the board games.
Surely board games will keep them busy so you can work, right? Simply tune out the sounds of your children killing one another.
Expect to step on at least one blue and pink Life baby as you make your way from the office to the battlefield to break up the sibling showdown.
4. Set up various creative activities in each corner of the house.
A play dough corner, a colouring-in corner, a puzzles corner, a train corner.
Find the kids in your bathroom playing with toothbrushes and tampons.
5. Bribe the kids with $10 each if they leave you alone for an hour.
Prepare to be asked “how long has it been” every five minutes. But, hey, that’s another hour of work clocked in. Winning so far!
6. Set up an epic blanket fort complete with headsets, iPads and Netflix access.
Listen to them argue about who gets to sit where and cry when their blanket fort breaks for the 8th squillion time.
Spend the next two hours simultaneously trying to find a tool that will keep the damned corners from caving in and typing emails.
7. Send them outside for some active play.
Lock the door and beeline it to your computer. Open the door only when you see one of them pooping in the garden.
8. Enforce nap time.
Even if the kids are well past the napping stage, make it a non-negotiable. Spend this blissful one to two hours WORKING FASTER THAN YOU HAVE EVER WORKED BEFORE. We’re talking the Energiser Bunny on Red Bull here.
9. Lock yourself in the bathroom with your computer.
Attempt a Zoom conference while on the toilet. Remove any stored toilet paper rolls from your background before logging in.
Oh wait, you don’t have any extra toilet paper…
10. Give up and open the wine.
If you made it past 4 pm, you’ve done pretty damned well. And, if you’ve managed to complete six hours of work or more (even if it’s taken 10+ hours to do so), you deserve an EXTRA big glass.
But don’t go too crazy on the wine. After all, you’ve got to get up at the ass-crack-of-dawn again tomorrow and do it all over again.