Suddenly we are all working from home with EVERYONE with us. Hi, I’m Liza, and I was born “for such a time as this”!
I’ve been working full-time from home for over 15 years. As a mom of four children, I’ve seen it ALL.
Top 5 tips on what NOT to do working from home
1. Never take a conference call in the bathroom
Why may you ask? If you have kids under the age of 10, do you recall a time you went to the bathroom without someone joining you? Even IF you managed to shut and lock the door (high-five for that) you now have an inconsolable cryer, little hands underneath your door, or some object being slid underneath the door for you. Take my advice here. This is NOT a safe place to hide.
Quick Tip: Take calls in your car. You can lock the door, still see your house, and it will take a good 15-20 minutes for your kids to find you.
2. Under NO circumstances walk into the kitchen
Kids can immediately sense that you are standing in the kitchen. Even though they were quietly playing upstairs, the moment you step foot within 5 feet of the kitchen, the next words you will hear are: “What’s for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, dinner snack. Etc”. Let them fend for themselves during this desperate time.
Quick Tip: Get up before they rise and hide food and drinks throughout the house for you to grab quickly through the day. Think of it as a fun game of hide and seek.
3. Maintain your “Good Parent” rules
We all know you are a great parent who doesn’t feed their kids’ junk. However, now is the time to use phrases like “If you stay quiet for the next 30 minutes, you get ice cream, candy, [insert whatever they usually don’t get].
Quick Tip: Store these forbidden items in your workspace; that way, you can throw them out to your kids randomly during calls so that you can keep going without anyone even knowing.
4. Telling the truth
Being honest with your kids is an excellent policy, but for now, we are throwing this one out the window. Don’t tell your kids that “Mommy/Daddy is working and needs you to be quiet.” This will only fuel their need to have 100% of your attention. Instead, practice harmless white lies.
Quick Tip: “I’m planning a super secret surprise for you, and I need 20 minutes to finish it”. Kids are excited to leave you alone, and you get 20 minutes of work in, I call this a WIN.
5. It’s ok to run away
Normally running away from your kids is frowned upon, but in this new normal, it’s socially acceptable. Take a short sprint while on the phone to get away from your kids.
Quick Tip: If your kids are older, try to get a head start, they can run faster than you think!
In all seriousness, desperate times call for desperate measures, give yourself and your family grace as we all navigate a new normal for the next few weeks. Good luck to all you work from home parents flexing their superpowers.
*I do not accept any responsibility for any actions or events that might occur by following my advice above. This is meant to be funny and somewhat real, it’s up to you to figure out how to apply these rules responsibly.
Author: Liza Rodewald is the CEO and CoFounder of Instant Teams enabling companies to build remote customer success teams from an untapped workforce of globally located military spouses.