How employees with children can adapt to working from home

Stacy Barwood, clinical administrator at BHSF, talks about life as a working mum and how parents can try to remain productive at home.  

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has resulted inschools being closed except for pupils of key workers and vulnerable children. Employees have also been advised by the government to work from home.

With the majority of school children now at home, many working parents and families may struggle to be as productive as normal. This is where employers need to make allowances and take a flexible approach, especially for people with younger children who will inevitably need more care.

Home schooling

Due to work commitments for me and my other half, sometimes we feel guilty that we can’t give our children 100% of our time for home schooling.

There is also the worry that, if we don’t put the time in to home school our children whilst they are off school, they will fall behind and they will have to play catch up when they go back. This is putting pressure on ourselves to make sure they don’t.

Whilst working from home we have the children sat next to us at the kitchen table doing their school work. It is very difficult when they are asking for help or asking questions, as we are not always able to help them straight away which you do feel guilty about.

It’s hard never having a break, you are a mum in the morning, teacher and employee in the day and a mum in the evening! 

Resources to utilise

We spoke to our children as soon as we knew the schools were closing, discussed how it would work and what we could all do to help each other. We explained that, when we were on the phone, they needed to be quiet, not interrupt, and be patient until we had finished.

We have made a school timetable together, so they understand what is expected of them each day. We also know what we need to do to ensure we are covering everything. Each evening we get their school work ready for the next day.

There are lots of free resources parents are able to access to help with home schooling, for example, PE with Joe Wicks on YouTube every morning at 9am, History Lessons on Facebook, Storytime with David Walliams and Science with Maddie Moate on YouTube. 

Coping

The key is don’t get stressed, just do your best and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Remember that all working parents are in the same situation.

My husband and I are very lucky that we are working from home and are able to be with our children. We have tried to make it as enjoyable as possible and are still getting them to complete key pieces of school work.

The children have been very good and understanding. We have completed a normal week at work and the kids have completed their school work. 

BHSF have been very supportive and having spoken with my manager, we have agreed to see how it goes trying to home school and work at the same time. If required, my working hours can be flexible, so I can spend time with the kids home schooling in the day and then making up the time on an evening to do my work. 

We have found, with the children doing their school work at the same time as us working, we can still enjoy quality family time in the evenings and weekends.  

If you need any support or advice on managing your working environment during the coronavirus outbreak, we’re here to help. Call us today on 0333 344 3800 or email us at ohenquiries@bhsf.co.uk.

Author: Editorial Team

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