Creating a Work-Friendly Home for Remote Parents

By Natalia Wolting  • Feb 27, 2024
Man attempts to work from home with son on shoulders.

The rise of remote work has undeniably brought freedom and flexibility. But for parents, particularly those navigating childcare while fulfilling work responsibilities, it can feel like a constant juggling act. The good news is with some planning and creativity you can carve out a productive and comfortable work-friendly environment at home. Here's how you can strike a balance and thrive as a remote working parent:

Design Your "Work Zone"

  • Location is key - Choose a dedicated workspace away from high-traffic areas and potential distractions like TVs or playrooms. Consider soundproofing options or noise-canceling headphones if noise management is a concern.

  • Embrace ergonomic comfort - Invest in an adjustable chair, supportive desk and proper lighting to prevent physical discomfort from prolonged sitting and looking at a screen.

  • Declutter for clarity - Minimize clutter on your desk and surrounding area to maintain focus and reduce visual distractions. Organize essential work materials to ensure efficiency.

  • Personalize for inspiration - Add elements that motivate and inspire you like framed family photos, artwork, or nature pictures. A splash of greenery can boost well-being too.

  • Technology matters Ensure you have a reliable internet connection and download tools that enhance productivity, such as project management software and video conferencing platforms.

Craft a Routine for Everyone

  • Schedule with purpose - Create a shared family calendar outlining work hours, childcare arrangements, mealtimes and playtime. Consistency is key for both you and your children.

  • Embrace early mornings - If possible, utilize pre-dawn quiet hours for uninterrupted work before your children wake up. Consider waking up an hour earlier to get a head start.

  • Naptime is golden - Leverage naptimes for focused work sprints. Utilize this time efficiently to minimize disruptions later in the day.

  • Plan activities and breaks – If your children aren’t at school, schedule engaging activities for them during your work hours like independent play, reading, or age-appropriate chores. Don't forget to incorporate short breaks for playtime and interaction as a family.

  • Be flexible and adjust - Unexpected occurrences are inevitable. Remain flexible and adjust your schedule or tasks as needed prioritizing both work and family time.

Communication and Collaboration

  • Manage expectations - Be upfront with your employer and colleagues about your childcare responsibilities and available work hours. Discuss strategies for managing interruptions and handling urgent matters during work hours.

  • Utilize childcare solutions - Explore options like nannies, daycare centers, or trusted family members to assist with childcare during your workday. For example, remote workers in Angola can also take advantage of the Early Learning Center.

  • Collaborate with your partner - If you have a partner share childcare responsibilities and household tasks equally. Discuss schedules and backup plans to ensure smoother workflows.

  • Involve your children - Explain your work to your children in age-appropriate terms and involve them in setting boundaries. Create "do not disturb" signs or signals for when you need focused work time or are on important calls.

Maintain Your Well-Being

  • Set boundaries - Establish clear boundaries between work and your personal life. Stick to your scheduled work hours and disconnect when possible to avoid burnout.

  • Self-care is essential - Prioritize your well-being. Engage in activities you enjoy like exercise, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones outside of work hours.

  • Embrace the mess - Accept that things might not always be tidy or perfectly organized. Focus on functionality and prioritize work-life balance over immaculate surroundings.

  • Celebrate wins - Take time to acknowledge your accomplishments, both at work and as a parent. Reward and remind yourself of your strengths.

Creating a work-friendly environment at home while managing childcare is a continuous learning process. Don't be afraid to experiment, adapt and seek support from your partner, family and outside resources. Embrace the joy of being present for your children while pursuing your career goals and remember you're not alone in this juggling act!

About MakeMyMove

Remote work has freed millions of Americans to live where they want, and many are making the move to places that better match their lifestyle. In turn, cities and towns across the country are offering incentives like cash, perks and programming to remote workers who move and work from their communities. At MakeMyMove, you can explore all the places, get personalized help to find the one that’s right for you, connect with locals, and access support to make your move a piece of cake.