The summer holidays are almost here, and if you thought working from home was tough while the kids were at school, wait until they’re off and need entertaining for weeks on end – the constant need for attention, coupled with the hot, sunny weather could make getting any work done all but impossible.
It always pays to plan in advance though, so here are six top tips to make sure the summer holidays aren’t a complete wash-out, at least as far as your work is concerned…
How to work from home during the summer holidays
It can be tricky getting work done when the kids are off school, with so many compromises that neither your kids nor your work get the attention they need and deserve. And while paying for extra childcare, or even a live-in nanny, could offer it quick and effective fix, it’s simply too expensive for many.
So if you’re concerned the summer break could shatter your productivity, check out our six top tips to work from home during the six-week summer holidays…
1. Plan and agree a work and play schedule
There’s a good chance your kids won’t understand how working from home actually works – many employees don;t even understand it – so it’s important you set the boundaries between work and home life from the outset. So sit down with the kids and create a timetable that outlines when you start work, when you take your breaks, and when you finish work – that way they’ll know from the start when you’re available.
It might also be worth showing them exactly what it is you do while you’re working, so they can get some understanding of why you’re at home but not able to entertain them the whole the time.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s the kids’ holidays though, and make sure you also schedule in some play time, and plan some activities in advance.
The important thing then is to make sure you stick to the schedule and don’t get distracted by the kids, the telly, the housework, or any of those other day-to-day distractions.
2. Get dressed for the office
Another good way to highlight the boundaries between home-life and work-life is to get dressed as though you’re going to work. Not only can this put you in the right frame of mind for work, it offers the kids a clear, visual indication that you’re not at home to play.
3. Work some unsociable hours
If you’re in the position where your working day doesn’t have to run from nine-to-five, it could be work getting up early or staying up late to get the work done while the kids are still in bed. Once you get used to the timings, you could find you can concentrate a lot more during these quiet times.
4. ‘Keep out’ or ‘Keep quiet’ signs
If you really need some quiet to concentrate or take a business call, put up ‘keep out’ signs to make sure the kids don’t burst into the room, or ‘keep quiet’ signs to make sure there’s some silence. You could even get the kids to make the signs, a little task that will keep them occupied for a while and also help get the message across.
5. Do a daycare swap
If you know any other work-from-home parents in the are, see if they fancy doing a daycare swap, whereby they take your kids on for a morning, then you reciprocate in the afternoon. Or swap for whole days at a time, whatever works best.
6. Create time-consuming tasks
Keeping the kids amused is the best way to keep them quiet, so try to think up some imaginative and fun tasks for them to carry out while you’re working – that doesn’t mean getting them doing the homework (though, if that’s an option, why not?!), but fun stuff like Lego building, painting, or whatever they’re into.
How do you plan to keep the kids amused while you work from home this summer? Share your top tips with our work-from-home community…