When the children must be at home as well, it can take a toll on everyone.
Here are some tips for managers collaborating with a team of employees who are working from home with their children.
Traditional office ‘communication rules’ might have to be adapted when your team is at home with children. They might reject a call because they’re in the middle of changing a nappy, or they might have to have video turned off because they have kids running around.
Kids require attention. The younger the child, the more care they need. Older kids and teenagers are less of a time stealer, but the challenge for a parent remains. You don’t have to shift your schedule to match theirs, but this knowledge can narrate your expectations.
Trust that your team will do what’s right for their families and for you. Don’t make them choose because it’s not a choice, family should always come first. It’s a great way to display your understanding and support as a manager.
Communicate with your team about their situation at home and clearly set expectations about your needs and theirs. Convey this clearly to your employees. Maybe they work during the evenings when their kids are asleep. Perhaps they’re spreading their hours over 7 days instead of 5. You can encourage your team to make the best of the situation.
Avoid being too intrusive
Suggesting activities or accommodation arrangements for your employees’ kids can be tempting, but it isn’t the best idea. Trust that while you manage the work of your team, they can manage their personal lives. For many parents, their most productive hours are in the early morning or late at night when their kids are asleep. Let them figure out what works best for them. It’s vital at Devoteam Cloud Services to “work smarter and not harder”.
Working from home with young children isn’t necessarily everyone’s first choice for an office, but as a manager, you can help make the experience as productive as possible for your team. Work still needs to be done. Encourage team spirit and work in an agile mode with weekly sprints to keep your work going. Communicate this clearly to your team and if you have to, set daily goals.
To Sum Up
A manager’s support is paramount to their team’s success. When parents are working from home with their children, trust, empathy, and open communication are more important than ever. Do you have any other tips? Use the form below to suggest a topic we can cover in this WFH series.
Irem Wedekind, Senior Change Management Consultant – a passionate biology enthusiast, fascinated by genetics and mutations,
HenkJan de Vries, Okta Solutions Engineer, a full-time WFH employee, and home automation nerd,
Chris-Ann Graham, Content Creator at Devoteam, lover of puppies and karaoke.