After the government today announced that schools would close due to the Coronavirus outbreak from Friday, we explore some coping strategies to help home workers cope with what might be the most challenging period of life so far.
The reality of home schooling whilst trying to keep on working is very daunting indeed”, explains Jonathan Ratcliffe of Offices.co.uk
Working from home is tough. Home schooling is very tough. So, if you must combine the two for a long period of time, how are you going to cope?
You are going to have to plan well, get organised and work to a strict timetable if you want to get everything done. Equally, you’ll need to have a proper split between work, school, fun and rest.
“The first thing you need to do is lower your expectations of what you are going to achieve, both with work and schooling. If you try to do too much the experience is going to be highly stressful”, Ratcliffe adds.
- Lower your expectations of what you will achieve with work
- Simplify your day into a set routine
- Don’t try and achieve too much
- Pause and try and appreciate moments with your kids
Here are 10 tips on how to survive:
START EARLY AT THE SAME TIME EACH DAY: Routine is important for good sleep and mental health, for both you and your kids. School starts at a set time, so make sure you are ready and stick to the timetable.
GET DRESSED PROPERLY LIKE TEACHER AND STUDENT: Getting showered and dressed is important to divide sleep and school.
CREATE SPACES FOR DIFFERENT ACTVITIES: You might set up a teaching room (kitchen), quiet room (spare bedroom) and a play area (living room)
STRUCTURE YOUR DAY LIKE A SCHOOL DAY: Teaching time, activity time, play time and lunch time – just like their normal school routine
MAKE A PLAN WITH YOUR KIDS: At the start of the day ask them what they want to do (within reason) so they feel involved
TURN OFF YOUR PHONE: How are your kids meant to feel involved if you are checking emails?
SET ASIDE BREAKS FOR TV, IPAD AND EXERCISE: Use these times to schedule work emails or calls
TAKE EXERCISE: Depending on where you live, if you have a garden or not – try and get some fresh air, this also allows you some headspace
FINISH AT A SET TIME, BEDTIME AT A SET TIME: By getting a routine drilled in early on, you can try and get the kids to sleep at a sensible time, thereby giving yourself some space to work if you need to
DON’T BE TEMPTED TO HIT THE WINE: If you can, evening time will be the only real time you can realistically work. If you drink your concentration will be poor, sleep poor and you’ll wake in a grumpy mood. Try and keep drinking to a minimum.
“We are heading into unchartered territory here and no one knows what life will look like at the end. It’s important to realise that time with your kids is a gift, don’t try and do too much – hopefully we can all stay relatively positive through this difficult time”, concludes Ratcliffe.