Thursday, May 24, 2007

Working at Home...with Kids

One of the many reasons parents request a telecommuting arrangement with their employer is to allow more time spent at home with their children. Telecommuting involves working outside the office one or more days a week and can increase the hours you are available to your children by eliminating a long commute, allowing you to prepare dinner on your lunch break, and making you more available for emergencies during the day, among other advantages. However, working from home should not be a substitute for childcare, especially for young children.

Summertime poses a particular problem for full-time work at home parents of school-aged children faced with up to three months of sharing the home office. In order to maintain productivity while working at home, children need to be self-sufficient or well entertained. Try these tips below to find the appropriate situation for you, your children, and your business.
  • Consider scaling back on your work load for the summer by working only part-time on a temporary basis.
  • Hire full-time day care or a part-time babysitter.
  • Swapping playdates with another stay-at-home parent is a free option that only requires your reciprocation. You can offer to watch the kids in the evenings for a date night or in the morning before you start work for the day.
  • When it's just you and your kids, entertain them well. Set up developmentally appropriate activities they can do on their own that will not require too much assistance or clean up. Consider Wendy Piersall's list of 94 Ways to Keep Kids Busy.
Armed with lots of ideas to keep your kids entertained and your work hours productive, you can enjoy the summer months instead of dreading them.

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