We’ve jumped into many unknowns recently and one of the biggest is how to support teams working at home during school closures. Our membership manager Kate is a parent whose previous jobs have involved her working at home, so she’s given her suggestions for how you can adapt, whether you’re a business leader or an employee.
Good practice for business leaders
- Parents and carers will be concurrently homeworking and homeschooling, so let them know you understand they’ll be juggling their priorities.
- Lead by example by sharing any adjustments you’re making to your working day and ask managers to do the same.
- Acknowledge that full time hours might not be possible for some employees at the moment.
- Avoid team catch ups before 10am and after 3pm to give your employees the time to look after their children.
- Ask employees to block out the time in their calendars when they know they’ll be care-giving, so they won’t be booked into meetings
- Check in with people by asking how they’re feeling on a regular basis
- Take off some pressure by acknowledging that the parents and carers in your team are doing their best to honour their commitments both to your business and their families.
Juggling homeschooling and homeworking
- Take up any adjustments your employer offers and accept opportunities for flexibility.
- It’s thought that in an office working day, around three hours are considered ‘productive’. Break those hours up and maximise your efforts during those times!
- Be realistic: on average, a child’s concentration span is two to five minutes for each year of their age. Prepare for short bursts of work to best use the times that they’re occupied.
- Remember that most people are understanding. Everyone knows that children aren’t silent, so don’t stress over background noises when you’re on the phone or visitors on your video call (sometimes they’re a welcome guest!)
- Try not to feel guilty; you can’t be everything to everyone at once, and that’s OK.
- If it gets too much, stop and reconfigure. The mental wellbeing of you and your loved once is what’s most important.