Not everyone will choose to work from home with their newborn or young child, but for some, it’s the ideal way to balance parenthood with their careers. However, there are some important things to remember if this is the route you choose to go down; doing so will keep you productive and happy.
Forget Set Hours
It’s much more important to look at the results you hope to get rather than the hours you hope to work. When you have small children to look after, sticking to set hours can be difficult, if not impossible. There is no 9 to 5 anymore, especially when you are caring for a newborn. You may need to schedule in naps, or time to play with your child, for example. It’s a good idea to invest in a baby lounger so that they can be in your office with you as much as possible; that way you can multitask if you have to. If you’re not sure which baby lounger to choose, take a look at Parent Guide for advice. There are lots to choose from, and getting the right one can make a real difference.
Light Work And Hard Work
You’ll have times when you have hard work and projects to do, and times when you have lighter work to deal with. Save the harder work and longer projects for when you know you won’t get interrupted. Perhaps if your partner has the baby, or if you can find a nanny for a short amount of time. You might find that getting up early works well for you, but remember not to overdo things and exhaust yourself. Pretend that you’re out of the home and in a distant office so that disturbances have to be real emergencies before they get your attention.
Only Say Yes When You Really Can
If you find that you attend a lot of meetings, you’ll also find that your time is stolen away from you quickly. Be as picky as you can with your meetings because if you are in too many of them both your work and your child may be found wanting. Make sure that you really do need to have a meeting and that you can’t deal with the issue over the phone or via email. If you do go to a meeting, let everyone know that you have a definite time limit and that all work needs to be completed within it. Stick to it. That’s the most important thing.
Just because you work from home, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay in the home all the time, especially if you have flexible hours. Make sure you go out for a walk with your child and get some fresh air; it will be good for both of you. You’ll need to stay local, though, on work days. This is so that you’ll worry less about being out of the office for an hour or longer. If you go further afield and constantly worry about what you should be doing at work you just won’t enjoy it, and your child will certainly pick up on these feelings.