On Sunday 15 March President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national state of disaster in South Africa as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With that, he announced the closure of schools from 18 March until after the Easter holidays- resulting in a four instead of two-week holiday for kids.
At the same time, in an attempt to curb the risk of spread of the virus, many companies have asked employees to work from home resulting in a potentially chaotic situation in many households all over the country. Before you panic, use this guide to bring some sort of normality during these abnormal times:
Establish a schedule
It may be uncharted territory currently in your household but that doesn’t mean that you cant create some sort of structure. Create a schedule that vaguely replicates their day at school and have it visible where all can see it. That way everyone knows what they should be doing at what time. You can schedule in things like breakfast time, clean up time and tv time, etc.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
In an unplanned situation where you are expected to work at home while your kids are home, make sure that you communicate that fact to your colleagues. This will ensure that they are not surprised on the inevitable occasion when they hear or see your child bounce into a conference call.
While you are working at home, make it clear to your kids that you are still working and that they need to give you space to concentrate. Executive coach and author Julie Kratz says if you’re a work-from-home employee who doesn’t have a designated office space, then setting clear boundaries with your kids can be helpful.
“You gotta have a place where you have private times. That might be your bedroom, your closet, a guest room, your basement or wherever you can find a place where you can have uninterrupted, quiet space.”
Make time for breaks
It may be tempting to work every single second of the day to prove to colleagues that you’re working but this is a one-way road to burnout.
“Breaks are important when working at home. For every hour of focused work you complete, you take at least a 10-minute break to grab a snack, walk around or say ‘hi’ to your kids,” said Kratz.
Pull in your spouse for help
Don’t be shy to pull in your partner for help. If you have an important conference call in the morning, for example, let your partner prep breakfast for the kids and swap later. Then both of you can get some work done during the day.
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