Being a working parent requires maximum attention on several fronts. That alone is a logistical and emotional challenge. It becomes more complex when there is an interplay on these fronts, as is routinely the case.
As with many working parents, if you and your kids have to crouch and wait for the COVID-19 coronavirus to spread, you are probably trying to worry about how this could affect your routine. International, 300 million children are currently out of school because of the threat from the virus. US school Closures increase, as do the number of states that declare a Emergency.
Government employees and members of congress prepare for remote work. Similarly, companies like Glassdoor, Twitter, Apple, Facebook, and Google have asked employees to work from home. While this is helpful, it can also make parents' work more difficult, especially if their children's school or daycare center is closed.
This puts you in a situation where the worlds you are trying to keep separate are turned into a routine pulp. From there, you are responsible for creating the services to be provided. It can be overwhelming to think this through and come up with a plan. This is how you orient yourself.
Speak your truth; Get your answers
Request it if your company's management team has not yet called a meeting to discuss sickness time and related pay as staff are taking extra precautions during the coronavirus outbreak. Employees need the opportunity to review policies with management and HR colleagues and ask questions. This way you know exactly what to do in the event of illness or closure. Making plans and planning your families' logistics can help keep your fears at bay.
The CDC advises: “Employers should have flexible policies that allow workers to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more workers than usual may have to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members. “The CDC's recommendations are not laws. Each workplace has its own set of guidelines, but referencing government recommendations can be a helpful topic to talk about in your conversation with management. Also, share any notifications you have received from your child's school or caregiver so that you can point out any restrictions that may affect your availability.
The CDC Advises: “In preparing for a possible community transmission of COVID-19, the most important thing now is for schools to plan and prepare. As the global outbreak evolves, schools should prepare for the possibility of outbreaks at the community level. Schools want to be ready when COVID-19 hits their communities. Make sure the plan focuses on precautions for students and common sense staff. For example, emphasize measures such as staying at home when you are sick … "
The schools are in the preparation and planning phase, as are you. You will need your employer's partnership to outline the resources you can count on if you or your family members get sick, or if your children's schools close.
The coronavirus outbreak has ushered in some rogue factors. Some factors are beyond our control, but there are some things that each of us can control. We count on every level of management to do the same.
Many working parents find it awkward asking for what their need. It can feel like a request for special treatment. That's just not the case. There are many ways your role as a parent informs and hones the skills that anchor your professional play. Think of the leadership, communication, teamwork, crisis management and troubleshooting skills that you improve on the home front and bring to the office. Working parents are particularly well known productive employees. You have nothing to excuse.
Feeling guilty about needing what you need means you are doing unpaid work that nobody asked for. This is a time to take control of your emotions. You cannot afford to squeeze unnecessary energy out of the two great roles that you are already filling.
"Unparalleled" is the word of the day. Your ability to deliver 100% for your team may be disrupted right now, just as other supply chains have been disrupted. This ripple effect is global; it's not up to you
Productivity tips for a WFH day
Working from home with children who are stuck in the house can be challenging. Keep these tips in mind:
Lean into the flex: For example, if you are a lark or an owl, do your most strenuous work early in the morning or late at night when your home is peaceful. If you can get your results done and then only monitor the news during the most active hours of your children, you will be productive and protect your precious sanity.
Be honest about your limits: It's hard to feel confident about having a conference call when your kids are at home, for example. Be open about how this situation affects your ability to be present in your role. It is better for your peace of mind and job performance to own your limits than to overexert and overwhelm yourself. Remember: unparalleled.
Think of initiatives to keep the children busy: Read 10 (long) books and earn a great prize. Paint a mural. Dig the biggest hole in the world in the yard. Make slime. Build ceiling fortresses. Try to keep your children occupied, but don't sweat if they have to spend time watching movies or playing video games. Don't kid yourself if you can't provide them with an educationally enriching popup experience. This is too much to expect from you.
Use sick time: If you or your children are sick, take your time. Don't overwhelm yourself. If you work remotely and your kids are at home, you are already doing two jobs. If someone gets sick, it becomes three jobs. Beat. Take care of yourself and your family.
Your Wellness Matters
Be patient with yourself. Own your limits. Remember: wellness is the goal of this forced hibernation. Deliver what you can and let go of the rest.
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