Don't Break the Bank
Submitted by Couch-Based Biz
If you’re a parent working from home, you might be wondering how to best support your children with remote learning. Figuring out how to structure your days can be complicated, and you may be worried that in order to properly manage your time and get everything done, you’ll have to splurge on expensive services or equipment. Couch-Based Biz understands what you’re going through, and we’ve got some tips on how to handle your workload, help your children with their schoolwork, and do it all without stretching your budget.
Start With Home Safety
While you’re working, you may not be able to keep an eye on your children at all times. Therefore, it’s important to create a safe environment for them in your home. You can make your home safer without spending a dime! Safewise recommends putting away any toys lying around so that no one trips, storing any sharp kitchen objects in secure places, and explaining to your child that they should not answer the door unless you’re in the room.
Plan Ahead for the Week
Use the weekend to prepare for the week ahead. Meal prepping is a great way to save time and money - when you already have meals ready in the fridge, you won’t end up spending on takeout during the week. Delish recommends buying ingredients in bulk and utilizing a slow cooker to make family-size meal portions.
On Sunday, help your children with any homework they haven’t completed. And if your children have assignments they’ve been struggling with, connect with their teacher to see if they can help. It’s best to take care of this before Monday morning!
You’ll have to put in extra effort to stay productive while working from home while your children learn remotely. Work-from-Home Depot recommends establishing a morning routine for your family and blocking off time for yourself in the evening to get some extra work done. It’s also important to set workday boundaries with your kids - let them know when you’ll be busy in your home office and when you’ll be available to lend a hand.
Virtual tools to help you stay on task can be very helpful, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on pricey software. You can often download free time tracking apps, project management platforms, and even website blockers.
Your child needs a reliable laptop for writing papers, doing research, and tuning in for their virtual lessons. A laptop can be an expensive device, but you can easily find discounts if you shop online. Better yet, wait for seasonal savings on Black Friday or Cyber Monday to get a great deal on a new laptop if you need one.
Invest in Technology
Your child’s teacher may choose to “gamify” learning to help students stay engaged. Perhaps your younger children will participate in an online coding camp, or your teenager will need a virtual reality headset for interactive lessons.
If you need to purchase special devices for these lessons, stick to online shopping, or wait for a sale. Furthermore, you may need to upgrade your Internet connection to something more robust. Talk to your provider to negotiate for a great deal!
Go for Easy
To help keep stress levels at a minimum, look for affordable ways to make life easier when you can. Turn to online grocery delivery to eliminate shopping, dress for comfort (particularly if you’re caring for an infant amidst all of this!), or even hire a reasonably-priced cleaning service. Every little bit can go a long way toward helping you limit stress and anxiety.
The switch to remote work and virtual education has challenged many families. But it’s not too late to get back on track and make this arrangement work for you. These tips will help you perform well at your own job, make sure your child benefits from online learning, and save money while you get it all done.
Quick Change Artist
Submitted by "Human Rights Mama"
Remember the video of the man who was being interviewed by the BBC live when his toddler walked into the room? That is probably every work-from-home parent's nightmare, and I was thinking about it recently when I was asked to create a "welcome video" to introduce myself as a tutor for an online course on refugee protection.
Online learning and virtual workplaces are magical inventions for working parents with small children. No one needs to know that you are in your pajamas, or haven’t showered for a couple of days, as long as your brain is clear and your fingers type swiftly. Unless, of course, you need to be on video.
As the mother of a 10-week-old, I don't currently go into an office during the day, and I don’t have the luxury of time. While my baby isn’t mobile, her little voice travels in my small apartment, so I'm pretty proud of the fact that I was able to create and post a video recently. And it was done on time, and I looked (at least theoretically) polished. The technique? I put on some makeup very early in the morning. Later that day, I put the baby down for a nap, pulled a blazer on over a nursing shirt, clipped my hair back, found a good backdrop (a bookshelf), and filmed the whole thing before she even woke up.
As Leonard Bernstein once said, "To achieve success, two things are needed; a plan and not enough time." I concur.
The Telecommuting Challenge
Submitted by Lisa Giles - "... let your family know they are your top priority. Also let them know that your work will be your primary focus during the day until they become your primary focus during in the evening."
Almost 20 years ago, while supporting a family member recovering from a health issue in Omaha, Nebraska, my innovative manager arranged for me to telecommute to my job in New York City. Since then, I've been successfully telecommuting on-and-off for different companies while advancing my career and achieving personal milestones along the way.
During this time, I've navigated career goals, and my husband and I have also welcomed two daughters, who are now 14 and 17. Telecommuting has enabled me to bridge my mother and employee roles, although I have needed to make some adjustments along the way.
At one point I feared that I was focusing too much energy on my career. While I was “home” a lot, I didn't always feel like I was focused on my family quite enough. This fear was confirmed when my then 7-year-old made me a Mother’s Day card that showed a picture of the back of my head, as I sat at my desk facing a computer monitor. The caption read: “Company worker”. That's when I knew I wanted to make some changes.
Vance Johnson's Dad
My dad spent 10-15 years working from home. Since he didn't have to commute to an office (an hour each way), he saved a lot of time. He was able to do everything his job required from home, so this was a win-win arrangement for him and the company that employed him.