Tips On How To Work From Home Effectively For Parents

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of shake-ups globally. Although the number of cases recorded by some countries has started to reduce, over 20 million cases have been recorded. At this juncture, countries have started to gradually relax lockdown and social distancing measures. This is to allow for the economic activity to restart that has been paralyzed by COVID-19. With the labor force shifting to work from home models, parents are going through rough times, juggling between work and monitoring their kids who are also stranded at home due to schools temporarily shutting.

Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, only 7.9% of the world’s labor force, approximately 260 million workers, worked from home permanently. And many were not even remote workers as they were either artisans or self-employed. Globally, only 2.9% of employees exclusively work from home. However, these numbers have increased since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, according to a report by Slack, an estimated 16 million US knowledge workers had started to work from home within a few weeks after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

With this quick and sudden transfer of the workplace to the home environment, many employees will have to adapt to the new realities of work. For all its benefits, working from home can be as unproductive as it can be productive. There are a lot of things that remote workers must put in place to ensure they have the necessary set-up at home that augments productivity. For employees who double as parents, this can be a challenge.

You might also be interested to read: 5 FAQs About Work From Home

Due to the present situation, everyone is at home. With the kids around, it can become extra difficult for parents to get work done as it is much harder to work from home. However, with the right strategies, parents can work around this. 

Here are a few work-from-home tips parents can follow to get work done at home:

Keep your employer in the know

Whether working remotely or on-site, in every structure, communication is very essential for productivity. The stakes for communication are even higher when it comes to working remotely. That is why when companies set up their remote working strategy, they always ensure they keep an open line of communication. For the company, it’s important to have a system that encourages and allows communication among workers.

As a parent who’s working remotely, it’s therefore important that you proactively inform your employer that you have kids at home and you might not be able to guarantee a 100% interruption-free conversation. When working remotely, it’s important to take advantage of the communication system to let your supervisors know what you might be struggling with. Having to work from home with little to no preparation is hard enough. But when kids are in the mix, this gets to become more tedious.

In essence, always let your team know beforehand that you’ve got kids around. So when the argument about the remote control gets heated up, no one will be surprised at the disturbance.

Prioritize your schedule

Working from home is not much different from working at the office. To ensure productivity, it helps to maintain a daily routine. Also, it helps to have a designated workspace that provides you with all the comfort needed for high-level efficiency. Employees also need a certain level of discipline and focus to maintain efficiency.

Due to the high number of events and activities that can affect productivity at home, parents must create a schedule. More like the daily office work plan. With this, working parents can create a list of to-dos based on priority. Having this premeditated plan makes it easier to deal with distractions and makes working at home easier for parents.

Engage kids in activities that don’t need supervision

Another way parents can make working at home easier is to keep their child/children engaged. While creating boundaries can keep kids in line, children are restless by nature and there’s little anyone can do to change it. Parents must find a way to manage their excesses if they want to work at home with ease. To achieve this, working parents should keep their children engaged. To take full advantage of this, the activities must require little or, more preferably, no supervision. These activities should be optimized for ages of the child/children and effectiveness in capturing their attention.

Seek childcare support services

While this might not exactly be a good idea now, it’s something you can keep in the bag for when the pandemic passes. Based on current trends, many experts have predicted that remote working is the future of work. And as such, it’ll outlast the coronavirus pandemic. What this means is that workers should brace up for a workplace culture without offices.

When that time comes, you want to be prepared. Remote working might not be the only thing to remain after the pandemic passes. Your kids might as well be receiving their lectures remotely. To ensure productivity, you might look at hiring professional care. If this might cause too much burden financially, you can call in favors from friends, aunts, or uncles who will be willing to look in on your kids while you work.

An overview of work from home landscape

Before the pandemic, many companies didn’t embrace telecommuting strategies despite their potential at increasing employee productivity and reducing administrative costs. In fact, many organizations doled out telecommuting benefits as prizes that employees had to earn. Also, workers who had access to telecommuting privileges were mostly managers and other highly paid white-collar professionals.

Nevertheless, since the pandemic began, companies have scrambled resources to ensure employees can work remotely. For example, a survey carried out on 250 large firms in Argentina in March found that 93% had adopted teleworking as a policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend is recorded in many other countries such as the US, UK, and India. Consequently, this led to a marked uptick in the number of people that are working remotely.


  • Before the coronavirus, telework was an optional benefit, mostly for the affluent few by Drew Desilver||March 20, 2020
  • Report: Remote working in the age of covid19 by the team at Slack||April 21, 2020
  • Working from home: Estimating the worldwide potential by Janine Berg, Florence Bonnet, and Sergei Soares||May 11, 2020
  • Got kids? Try these 11 quick tips for working from home while they’re with you by Sara Sutton||March 17, 2020

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