Working from home is like riding a unicycle. Working from home while parenting is like riding a unicycle while balancing ten books on your head, carving an ice sculpture, and reciting the first 13 numbers of Pi — backwards. If you’re juggling meetings, projects, and calls with naptime, snack time, and the occasional mooing/neighing/bleating/barking from one of these things, congratulations — you’re in the major leagues.
Luckily, we have an incredible network of RV parents who have kindly compiled their tips for WFH while parenting below. Take a look and get ready to make working from home, winning from home.
Communicate with your team
Yes, you may hear Baby Shark in the background. No, we’re not listening for pleasure.
As with any productive workday, communicating with your coworkers is vital. Share your WFH parenting situation with your team, and give them a heads up that they may hear some crazy sh*t in the background of your Zoom calls. Chances are you won’t be the only one juggling a big workload with a small child — give yourself grace, and remember we’re all doing our best.
Schedule movie/TV time
Have a video meeting coming up? Schedule your child’s screen time around your own!
If you know you’ll need to keep the distractions to a minimum during an important virtual meeting or call — or if you just need a few minutes to focus without interruption — pop on the latest episode of Paw Patrol and scoot to another room. You’ll get a few minutes of quiet without worrying about something like this.
If the allure of TV doesn’t last and someone does wander in during your meeting, don’t panic — assuming you’ve already communicated your situation with your team, they’ll know what you’re handling and understand that sometimes, you just have to roll with the punches.
Don’t be afraid to break up your schedule
In some cases, taking shifts with your partner or others in the household may be the best strategy to make it work.
Communicate proactively with your team to align on when availability matters most, and consider breaking up your 8-hour day into 2-hour or 4-hour segments across the day. Don’t forget to set a status in Slack and let your teammates know when you’re signing off.
In this new environment, over-communication is key!
Other tips ‘n’ tricks from WFH Parents
Ever tried running up an escalator with a toddler in your arms? If so, we feel you. To make the climb a little easier, try incorporating some of these tips ‘n’ tricks from RV
parents rockstars into your WFH day.
- “Disney+ is free for a year if you sign up through Verizon! I highly recommend Moana.” – Rachel Malone-Olsen, VP
- “These two great Instagram accounts are constantly full of good ideas to entertain kids at home (focusing mainly on preschooler age): @BusyToddler and @DayswithGrey.” – Hallie Cornetta, Executive VP
- “PBS has a great parents’ newsletter with ideas for fun, educational activities that your kids can enjoy at home.” – Josh Tarr, VP of Human Resources
- “We love to play ‘work’ — I give Abby an old ipad and she will ‘type like mommy’ for at least an hour! Plus she can practice letters and words. Great fun.” – Sarah Soule, President
- “Check out Adventure Academy! It’s an interactive multi-player online eduction game for kids ages 6+. It’s one-of-a-kind, and was made by the same company that built ABC Mouse.” – Ben Carter, VP of Engineering
- “I used to have to take my kids to the office sometimes to get work done on weekends. I took old worn-out briefcases of mine (yes I carried one of those things, remember — it was a long time ago) and filled it with things that they never got to play with except when I took them ‘to work.’ We pretended they were ‘working’ too so they had work-y kinds of things in their briefcases, like puzzles, legal pads like Mom’s, grown-up pens, dry-erase pens and dry-erase boards, etc). I also would give them jobs like making copies, putting paper in the shredder (they LOVED that), and cleaning out/reorganizing my desk drawers (and they were always delighted to find treats like gum or candy, or a trinket they could borrow and put in their briefcase for next time). And at the end of the work day, I would pay them for their work — usually quarters or something like that. They loved ‘going to work’ and would ask to go on weekends!” – Shannon McFadden, Leadership & Human Capital Advisor
- “My daughter was a big fan of Cool Math! It’s a site that teaches 1st – 8th grade math by making it fun. As long as she had a snack and her tablet she could stay on this site for hours!” -Vickki Trujillo, Project Coordinator
- “Last summer, I put this list (featured below) on our fridge and told my kids they weren’t allowed to 1) say they were bored or 2) play video games until they checked off everything on this list, everyday. (Ok, it didn’t last us ALL summer, but it got us through a few weeks a little more sanely.)” – Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Public Relations Specialist