If you’re one of the thousands who’s had to make the adjustment from working in an office setting to working from home and you have kids and/or pets at the house… need we say more? It’s been an adjustment, to say the very least! Luckily, on the business end, the adjustment for our team here at Franchise Clique has been somewhat seamless. However, we’ve all had to monitor and adjust over the last several months to accommodate our dogs, cats, kids of all ages… so, without further ado, here are our best tips!
1. Set Up a Designated Office Space
This one almost goes without saying at this point, but we’ve all found it very important to set up one designated area in the house where we only focus on work. Sure, that doesn’t prevent a lonely puppy from coming in to say hello or a hungry toddler interrupting your Zoom call to ask for a snack, but it does create an environment in which it’s easier to focus on work and only work when you’re in your “zone.”
2. Childproof and Petproof Your Office Space
While sometimes it’s inevitable, we have figured out some tricks to keep our Zoom calls from being interrupted by surprise visitors. Ideally, you’d just close the door… but we all know that’s not a foolproof solution. So if that doesn’t work, try setting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign for your older kids or talk with your younger kids about your work time. Set up a plan for when it’s OK to come into the office to say hi, and when to give mom or dad some privacy! As for the fur kids, make sure all your important work documents are stored up high in places where pets can’t get to them. And if you’re a dog parent, we’ve found a great way to keep our pups calm and non-intrusive during our workdays is to get up a little earlier in the mornings to take them for a walk before starting the day. This one is very mutually beneficial: tire your pup out and give yourself a little morning boost, all in one!
3. Office Hours… Set Them and Stick to Them
This one has been huge for us. Similarly to the last tip of discussing a “Do Not Disturb” signal with your kids, going over office hours with them has been incredibly helpful. We’ve worked with our kids to let them know when we need to focus on work, when it’s time to break for lunch, and when we’re done for the day and ready to wind down. If you’re able to have a set schedule like this, be sure to go over it with your young ones and make sure everyone is on the same page!
4. Try to Involve Your Kids and Pets Whenever Possible
Yeah, you read that right… but hear us out! A lot of the time when our little ones or furry friends come into our home offices to interrupt us, it’s because they’re bored… and what’s the best way to fix boredom? Pique their curiosity! If you have older kids and you’re able to do so, tell them about the project you’re working on and explain to them what you’re doing and why it’s important. For starters, they’ll understand why they shouldn’t barge in if they know you’re working on something really important… but this is also a great way to engage with your young ones to keep them from getting stir crazy. AKA, less interruptions! Same goes for pets… unfortunately, our dogs and cats don’t seem to care very much about what we do. But they love making special guest appearances on Zoom calls! We like to think it helps to assuage some of their curiosity, too, but it’s mostly just a great way to keep them entertained. And keep the team entertained… because come on, who doesn’t love an adorable guest star on a meeting?
We hope these tips are as helpful for you as they’ve been for us during this “new normal” of remote work. As school gets back into swing and some of us have kids doing online school while others are back to in-person instruction, we’re sure we’ll have to monitor and adjust some more. Still trying to work that one out! But the bottom line is, this is a different time for everyone involved. It might not be perfect, but it’s all about flexibility and adaptation to the ever-changing “norm” to stay productive and focused at work. Good luck out there, everyone!