There’s no denying that working from home has its benefits for both employers and employees. But this alternative work arrangement also comes with challenges, especially for work-from-home moms.
Women are more affected by remote work challenges than men, mainly because they juggle their actual job with their other roles at home. These include being in charge of most household work, childcare, and even home-schooling.
And with all these important roles to juggle, most moms must have asked themselves this question: How do I stay productive at work without sacrificing my roles at home and risking my health?
The answer may not be clear-cut or a one-size-fits-all approach. But hopefully, these seven tips will help work-from-home moms make the most of their work and home life.
8 Tips for Work-From-Home Moms
1. Discuss Work Arrangements with Your Employer in Advance
Before accepting a job offer, it’s best to ensure that you and your employer are on the same page. There are a lot of companies with reasonable parental leave policies and flexible remote work arrangements that can be great for work-from-home parents. Making sure that your employer provides a remote work environment that’s considerate of employees’ different home situations is crucial in avoiding undue stress and unmet expectations from both parties. A flexible work arrangement also allows you to manage your time better and adjust to the needs of your home life without sacrificing your work output.
2. Identify Your Most Productive Hours
Let’s face it: the 9 to 5 work schedule is not for everyone. This is due to a wide range of reasons, including the fact that each person has different times during the day when they are more productive or creative. Some find it easier to concentrate at dawn or just before sunrise, while some are night owls. It’s best to observe yourself and find the times when you are most productive. This doesn’t have to be 5 consecutive hours of your day; your productive hours may be a few hours at noon and a couple of hours in the morning where you have some time for yourself to focus on the task at hand.
3. Limit Distractions
It’s difficult to limit all types of distractions when working at home or even in the office. But there are some distractions that are under your control, like getting sucked into hours of swiping on your favorite social media platform or checking your inbox every time you hear the notification sound. Once you’ve identified your productive hours, it’s time to block some of those hours in your calendar where you turn off notifications from your social media or email. This is crucial if you’re working on tasks that require your full attention, like bookkeeping, or when you’re just getting into your writing groove. It’s difficult to get yourself “in the zone,” but you can quickly be drawn out of it by a simple ding from your phone.
4. Set Up a Routine for Your Kids
It will be challenging to keep up with your own schedule if your kids don’t have a routine themselves. It’s best to make sure your kids are aware of when meal, study, nap, and play times are. You can align your work schedule with their nap or play hours so you know that they’re either in dream land or make-believe land while you’re working.
5. Create an Organized Work Station
It’s important to have an organized work station to help increase productivity. For some, “organized” means zero clutter; for others, it can mean something totally different. Depending on what type of work station you prefer, make sure it’s something you find conducive to work. At the very least, it’s important to make your setup ergonomic to avoid eye strain and neck or back pain.
6. Delegate Other Household Tasks
Just because you can technically do it all doesn’t mean you should. If you have older kids that are old enough to handle smaller tasks like taking out the trash or loading the dishwasher, then you can delegate those tasks to them. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone; you’re taking off some of the tasks on your plate while teaching them important house chores. You can also outsource household chores like laundry or deep cleaning your home so you have more time for family, work, yourself, or all of the above.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Breaks
People seldom think about taking breaks when they think of increasing productivity. But taking breaks and, not to mention, having a healthy sleep routine are important for both your physical and mental well-being. It can be tempting to always be dependable on top of all the work and household tasks. However, it’s important to unlearn this notion that resting is counterproductive. In fact, most of the time, it’s overworking that can lead to burnout and decreased productivity.
8. Take Care of Your Health
In a fast-paced world, you might think you always need to be “ON” to keep up. It’s important to remember that taking care of your overall health is the most important thing you can do so you can continue being productive at work and present at home. Eating well and staying active are the top to-do’s when it comes to taking care of yourself. But you should also take care of your mental and social well-being to ensure you’re in a good state to take care of your career, your family, and yourself.
Hopefully, these tips can help you do well in both your work and home life. But perhaps the most important tip is: Be kind to yourself! No one should expect you to do everything perfectly. Some days will be easy breezy, while some can be difficult to navigate. But what’s important is not to be too hard on yourself and know that you’re trying.