Tips for Parents Working Remotely
Having an occasional home office day is usually great, but doing months of remote work can be challenging, especially for parents with small children and babies. We did some research and with the help of some of our trivago parents, we’ve put together some tips to help you handle your working days while caring for your kids!
Keeping up with routine and schedules
Setting up routines for you and your kids is key. Not everything can be planned, but a clear schedule will help you navigate better in the upcoming days. If you have kids in school, setting a strict schedule that replicates a normal school day is the best option. Define a wake-up time, breakfast and get them dressed at the same time they would if they were going to daycare or school. It’s always important to dress them up and not leave them in their pajamas all day long. Try to get the bulk of your work completed during your kids’ lunch hour, nap time or when they’re busy with another activity.
Don’t be afraid to over-communicate
The key is to have clear communication with your lead and knowing exactly what’s expected of you. It’s also important to communicate with your team and be honest about your situation and ask for collaboration about which are your preferred time slots for having meetings. Be open about the fact that you’re also juggling the needs of your kids, so your coworkers aren’t caught by surprise. On a regular basis, you might not want to say that, but during an unexpected work-from-home situation such as this, it’s absolutely critical to over-communicate.
Set boundaries with your children
It’s crucial to set boundaries with your kids when working remotely, especially if they’re school-aged. If you allow your kids to watch more TV and play more (video) games, explain to them that this is a special situation and not the new normal.
Tell your kids when you need to be in “Do not disturb” mode. If possible, designate a private space in the house to work where they know they should interrupt you unless absolutely necessary. That might be your bedroom, a guest room, even your closet or wherever you can find a place where you can have an uninterrupted, quiet area to focus. A good recommendation is to have a physical sign on the door (with a thumbs up, thumbs down or whatever works) as a signal for when you really shouldn’t be interrupted.
Take regular breaks
Although this applies to everyone, it’s crucial that you take breaks. A suggestion is that for every hour of focused work you complete, you take at least a 10-minute break to grab a snack, walk around or say “hi” to your kids. Planning physical exercise for you and your children also helps. Do something that makes you feel good, like a hot shower or indulging in your favorite podcasts or other self-care things you can do when taking a healthy break from work. It’s perfectly fine to tell your lead, “Hey, I’m going to be out for 30 minutes or so at 1 p.m.” Our culture team launched a series of trivago remote events via Zoom: sports sessions, painting classes, workshops, book clubs, and even parties. Check them here and stay tuned for the different activities! Some talents also shared “ALBA Berlin”, a Youtube channel with daily exercise, fitness and interesting information for children and young kids.
Alternate shifts with your partner if possible
If you’re in a situation where both you and your spouse are working from home, alternating shifts with your partner can make working remotely a lot easier. Plan accordingly with him/her.
Good luck to all the working parents out there – you’ve got this! If your kids are already back in school, but you’re still working from home, check out our article on general tips for working from home or interesting remote tech events you can check out from home.
Thanks to Fran from our internal comms team who originally compiled this article with our trivago parents’ help for our internal Newshub platform.