The holiday season has arrived, and working parents may be dreading juggling childcare and work following their experience of lockdown and home schooling.
Louise-Deverell Smith, founder of the flexible working platform Daisy Chain, offers her tips below for juggling kids at home when you’re remote working during the Christmas holidays. Louise is on a ‘flex for all’ mission to make flexible working a reality for anyone who wants it.
Top Tips For Juggling Work and School Holidays
Plan Activities Ahead
Why not plan out several days worth of fun activities in advance? Let the children in on the plans so they can get excited. There will be times that the children will have to entertain themselves. “I think it’s good that children get bored sometimes! Life is not constant excitement and planned activities!” says Louise.
Have an open dialogue with your employer, your clients and family. If you have to be in the office, ask your employer if you can work remotely that day as your children are on holiday, and let your children know when you have important meetings and deadlines. With a little context, everyone – even kids – are much more understanding.
Set up Playdates
Reach out to your parent network, set up playdates and share the childcare. It’s a win-win for all involved – kids are happily playing with their pals and childcare is sorted.
Add a Flexible Signature
Add a signature to your emails stating you’re working but as it’s the children’s holidays so you might not reply immediately. If you work flexibly anyway you should consider adding this signature permanently! Here’s Louise’s flex signature to help inspire yours:
*I’m all about the flex so I’m sending this message now because it’s when I’m working. Please don’t see it and think you have to read, reply or action it outside of your normal working hours*
Set Work Boundaries
We are all guilty of our working hours running into our home life. During the holidays, be strict with your time and turn off work. Try the Pomodoro Technique for efficiency: write your to do list, set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on the first task only with all other distractions turned off, then take a 5 minute break and tackle the next.
Put in a Flexible Working Request
We have a tendency to compare our life with others and we will all be bombarded with images of family trips and general happiness over Christmas – but be realistic, these are just snapshots!