Sharing your home office with your kids can be a nightmare.
You want it to be a professional space where you can actually get work done. Younger children want to turn it into a play room and teenage kids are looking for any distraction or avoidance technique to get out of doing their homework.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few careful ideas and strategic moves, sharing your home office with your kids just became a whole lot easier!
1. Give your kids the same tools as yourself
It’s pretty common for kids to want to replicate activities their parents are doing; especially younger kids. Prepare for this by providing your kids the same ‘office tools’ that you have for yourself. This can include notepaper, pens, pencils, stapler, and if you have the space their own desk and computer.
We understand that not all home offices can accommodate two desks. But if you happen to have the space, setting up a separate work station for adults and kids can be your lifesaver for ensuring productivity continues.
2. Roster desk time for the whole family if space is limited
If you only have the one desk within your home office, consider rostering desk time for the whole family. Sharing your home office doesn’t need to be stressful if you make it clear what times and days it is available or taken.
You can do this by keeping a colourful chart on the front of the office door, or hanging one within the office.
A good tip is scheduling the afternoons for your kids to encourage them to use this time to complete their homework.
3. Allow for ‘kid distractions’ when working from home
Parents who work from home are well aware that kid distractions are going to happen.
You will be interrupted by your kids throughout the work day, as they simply want to know what mum and dad are doing. It’s a kid’s natural curiosity.
One way of combating this is to keep a box of toys in one corner of the home office. This way sharing your home office can be done by allowing your kids to play quietly in one section of the room, as you get to work in another.
It may be slightly noisier than you hoped for, but it’s a solid compromise!