Working from home can be extremely rewarding. You get to spend more time with your kids, you can set your own hours and dress however you like, and it’s easier to stay organized because there’s no commute. However, working from home isn’t without its challenges. Finding the right balance between work and family life can be difficult, especially when you have a newborn baby at home who needs constant attention. Here are some tips for making this new experience more manageable for yourself.
1. Set up your workspace in a way that gives you enough privacy
To get the most out of your work, you must set up your space in a way that allows you to focus and be efficient. If you can’t do this at home, consider working remotely at a coffee shop or other public location.
If you’re working from home, try setting up your desk in a separate room (or even better—a different part of the house). You’ll want enough privacy so you don’t feel distracted when on calls or spending time with clients.
2. Adjust your schedule to be more synchronized with your child’s
Setting up a schedule that is convenient for you and your child is important. If you’re working from home, there will be days when you want to get up early or stay up late. You’ll need to let them know when it’s time for bed and the consequences if they don’t comply (for example, no stories or snacks).
You should also ensure that you have enough time during the day to take care of yourself and your child. It may be tempting just to work all day long so that your schedule syncs up with theirs (and therefore saves everyone some stress), but if you’re exhausted and cranky, then there’s little point in doing this job at all.
3. Find ways to keep your baby occupied and quiet
It’s easy to get distracted when your baby is crying, but it’s crucial to find ways of keeping them occupied if possible. For example, you could put on some music they enjoy and let them listen while playing with their toys. Alternatively, you could try giving them something to suck on (like a pacifier) or letting them watch TV in another room while you work.
4. Get a good pair of noise-canceling headphones if you can
You must get a good pair of noise-canceling headphones if you’re working from home. It can be hard to concentrate on anything when there’s a crying baby in the house, so if possible, try to find some headphones that will block out most sound.
It’s also worth noting that parents can use some noise-canceling headphones to block out other sounds, like crying babies. This is a great way to get some peace while you work, but you mustn’t use them for too long as your ears can become damaged if exposed to loud noises for too long.
5. Know that it’s OK to take breaks during the day
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and tired at first, even if you take time off from work. You might have a hard time focusing or getting anything done. You might get worried about what your coworkers think of you taking breaks from work.
For many women after the pandemic, the hardest part is just feeling like they can’t keep up with everything that needs to be done—especially when they’re used to being very productive at their jobs and having lists upon lists of things that need doing at home too. It’s normal for it all to feel overwhelming!
It’s important to remember that no one expects you (or anyone else) to be able to do everything perfectly right now. If something comes up that seems urgent or important but isn’t essential for survival, don’t worry about it until tomorrow or another day when you may have more energy available for it.
6. Be tech-savvy to make your work easier
If you’re not already familiar with it, learn how to use the internet and social media. Many online tools can actually make your job easier. From websites that make it easy to keep track of what needs doing at work and home to apps and software that allow you to collaborate virtually with people via text or video chat rather than just emailing them all day.
Also, it helps to be tech savvy with productivity and communication apps like Slack and Zoom that can help you stay organized and keep in touch with your team no matter where they are located.
7. Attend training
There are many good reasons to attend training, even if you’re working from home. The most important reason may be to learn new skills that can help you do your job better. You may also be able to learn about new tools and technologies that can make your work easier.
Another reason to attend training is to stay connected with your colleagues. It can be easy to feel isolated and challenging to stay aligned with your colleagues when you’re working from home, but virtual collaboration training can help you feel more connected to your team. This allows you to get help with projects when you need it and develop skills to overcome the challenges of working remotely.
The challenges of remote work are not just a phase of becoming a working mom. To maintain your career and be a good parent, you need to make sure you don’t lose focus on either side of this coin. While your employer might be able to help with some of these challenges, it is ultimately up to you to find the right balance.