By February 27, 2013 Read More →

Working from home during half term

A parent’s dilemma – working from home with children around

Work from Home Wisdom - Paul Graves, working from home during half termHalf term has been and gone, and working from home parent Paul Graves shares his ideas on how everyone can enjoy the school break while still getting some work done:

I love the big school breaks. Easter, Christmas, and summer – we always have things planned: trips, activities, and holidays away. However the half terms are a different matter.

I’m a home worker for a big corporation, so I have a certain amount of flexibility in the working week, but a fixed holiday allowance a year, so I need to be at my desk during half terms.

It can be a bit of a challenge to actually get some work done, while not totally abandoning the kids to the tv and the playstation.

Here’s some thoughts on how to get through that half term week when working from home:

  • Sometimes working at 100% just isn’t possible with the noisy rogues around. So just do as much as is reasonable. If you really need quiet to do your primary job, maybe as an author or designer, then half term could be the best time to catch up on some paperwork, or invoicing.
  • If you have a spouse, or similar, around to babysit then half term might be the time to try a bit of working out of the home. Maybe there’s a co working event, or local Jelly event near you. Or a friend whose quiet kitchen table you can borrow. Even just an hour at a coffee shop could be a surprisingly productive time.
  • Make use of half term clubs. Around here there are plenty of activities put on for the harassed parent. My boys have particularly enjoyed football coaching weeks, which have the extra advantage of tiring them out somewhat.
  • Child sharing with friends could be a cheaper version of this – if you are lucky a group of friends together will entertain themselves and give you a peaceful moment or two.
  • For me the best approach for working from home during half term seems to be to plan ahead, be creative with my time, and don’t worry too much. And after all, the kids are not at school – that should make them 98% happy to start with!

    Thanks to everyone on Rosie Slosek’s Homeworking UK Linkedin group for their excellent contributions to these thoughts.

    Paul is a programmer and database administrator for Hewlett-Packard. He has been a home worker for 3 years, which helps him keep an eye on his wife and four children, and indulge his passion for doing the laundry. Paul is a keen supporter of Jelly meetings, and regular contributor to the #elevensestime group on Twitter.

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