4 Tips for Balancing Working from Home and Caregiving Responsibilities
While working from home may be business as usual for some, this arrangement could give some parents and caregivers the difficult task of balancing their working from home and caregiving responsibilities. We recently wrote about how employers can support employee caregivers. Now, with some help from our friends at HR360, we put together four tips for balancing working from home and caregiving responsibilities.
1. Set a schedule for yourself and those you’re looking after at home
People crave structure whether they’re working in the office or at home, so its important to create a schedule and then stick to it. For example, if you usually go to the gym before work, try waking up early to get an at-home workout in before you start your workday from home.
Don’t just set a schedule for yourself. Set one for those whom you’re looking after at home. For example, if you have children at home, try to mirror their school schedule as much as possible. This includes having them wake up at the same time that they would for school, eat breakfast and get ready. From there, have them work on activities for specific times, building in meal times and outdoor “recess.”
If you are caring for other loved ones, try incorporating their standard routine with your personal schedule. This includes eating meals together and taking breaks to go for a walk outside or spending time together.
2. Create separate spaces for yourself and those you’re looking after
Ideally, your at-home workstation would be at a desk or table, away from any distractions such as the TV. Trying to work from your bed or couch can be challenging, since such locations are associated with sleep and relaxation. Creating this separation will benefit your productivity as well as your mental well-being. Not only will this help you remain productive at work, but it will also help communicate to others that when you’re in your workspace, you’re working. Additionally, creating these separate spaces will further instill the schedule that you set. You may also want to check out our at-home workspace ergonomics tips.
3. Remember to take breaks
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks. Aim to coordinate all schedules so that you can take a break with your loved ones at the same time. Consider getting outside to get some fresh air and exercise. Make sure to stand up and distance yourself from your at-home workstation. It’s extremely important for your mental well-being to maintain physical separation between your work and home life while you’re working at home. You may also want to check out our tips on meditation, mental health & COVID-19.
4. Communication is key
When balancing your job and caregiving responsibilities, it’s important to communicate with those you’re looking after. It’s also important that you’re honest about your situation with managers and co-workers. Doing so will help ensure that expectations can be properly set and managed during the time you’re working from home.
If you’re an employer looking for ways to support employee caregivers, Rose & Kiernan, Inc. is happy to help. Please contact the Employee Benefits Management Group (EBMG) here or by calling (800) 242-4433.