Coronavirus made working from home a trend – and it didn’t happen slowly, but abruptly. We can see social media full of funny pictures related to expectations vs reality, especially when you have kids at home. Our company has more than 150 employees, and around 43% of them have kids. In this work-from-home time, we decided to ask them how they are coping with the challenge of having kids at home and working. The questions that we asked them were the following: 1) how do you manage to work-from-home with kids, 2) the influence that this trend has on productivity, and 3) the influence on the family as a whole.
- How do you manage to work-from-home with small kids?
Most of our employees have small kids, to the age of 10, and we believe that it is challenging working from home being surrounded by kids jumping and laughing around, and toddlers. But, we also believe that it is really good having the chance to watch them do that daily. When asked how they manage to work while being surrounded with their kids, some of our employees responded that they have their kids being looked after by their parents (grandparents), or the other partner, if the partner doesn’t perform work-from-home. So, they have no trouble at all to go to another room and do their job.
Regarding those that do not have anyone to look after their kids, and living in an apartment, well they said that it is quite challenging, but they manage it – you will make a routine and schedule, give your kids something to do, play a game, draw, and you will keep them by your side to monitor them. One thing that all of them have in common is the eagerness to be the best at what they are doing, regardless of the challenges that might appear – there is always a way.
And we also have those colleagues who say that they cannot manage working from home with their kid around them, even if there is someone looking after it – so they prefer to do the job from the office.
- Influence of the work-from-home trend on productivity
Some might argue that when people are working from home they are less productive than when they are in the office. This can have some truth in it, but it can also be the opposite. When we asked our employees about their productivity – do they feel that their productivity level is going down or no – some responded that when at home they can focus more because there are only several people at their homes knowing that they are working and do not bother them. So, they can work freely. Troubles might arise when the kids want to play, but that can be handled as well. The opinions on this matter were divided, though the opinions that productivity is the same, and even in some cases better prevailed.
- Influence on the family as a whole
This was the most interesting question that our employees answered. When working from the office, kids are used to seeing you only after 4 or 5 pm, even later depending on the project that you are. Now they see you at home each day from getting up from bed to going to bed. One of our employees said that it was weird for him when his son went and hugged him without having any reason. Being at home all the time makes them closer, and moreover, they get to experience a lot of funny and happy moments. At this time, when all that we hear are news which frightens us, the work from home produces some funny and positive moments. I would mention what one of our colleagues said, he and his wife are living in a house, and they have a small kid, at around the age of 3. While they are working from home, they go to another room, and the kid’s grandparents look after him. They wake up in the morning, have their breakfast, talk to the kid a bit, and get ready to go to work – but they do not get all dressed up as for work, instead in pajamas. On their way of going out from home, they say to their kid Bye, we are going to work! And the kid looks at them with a surprised look on his face asking himself why do they go to work in pajamas? 😊
To sum up, work-from-home, when you have kids, has its own positive and negative sides. The positive things are that you get to spend more time with your family and experience many funny, happy moments, you can do your job as required and increase your level of productivity if you have someone to look after your kids. And the negative are that sometimes you just need to get out of your home, sometimes you need a break, and troubles appear when you should have a meeting with a client, or the team, but you cannot do it properly because your kids might jump behind your back and create a distraction for all of them. 😊 And finally, we have the social moment here – nothing can replace the face-to-face meetings and the effectiveness in solving problems when the team is in one place.
Do you work from home with a kid by your side? What is your opinion on working from home being surrounded by kids?