Homing from Work During the Pandemic
When you’re working from home, you’re in your kids’ domain, with their toys, games, banging musical instruments, and TV programs dominating the environment. You have to isolate yourself to concentrate on your work, but it’s easy to step out and mix with them as frequently as you can.
Meanwhile, your office conference room sits empty, since you sent your workforce home, and you’re paying rent on it each month, unsure when you’ll be able to use it again. Why not creatively transform it into a place where you are “homing from work,” as I like to call it, another way to be with your kids while attending to things that need to be done at the office.
Empty Conference Room as a Creative Canvas
Our office has its own entrance, so we don’t have to go through a shared lobby, though with most buildings almost empty these days and cleaning surfaces, it’s safe to even go up an elevator. If your kids are not yet in school or studying from home, they could come with you or be dropped off for a few hours. It is probably cleaner than any home can be, since it has a simpler arrangement of mostly hard surfaces.
As you can see from the attached photos, I’ve given my kids markers and paints, coloring books, pads, and drawings they can color in, and puzzles. I put up the results around the room and maybe we’ll keep some of them there when our employees and clients can meet in the office again.
We can bring in lunch and this gets the kids away from the TV and video games for a few hours. It makes them feel like Dad isn’t really at work, it’s just like an extension of home. If your spouse or partner has been doing most of the childcare, it also provides a welcome break.
Clean Environment with Minimal Distractions
Yes, like at home, #homingfromwork can have its distractions, but I feel better energy with them around and less “get home ASAP” pressure. Having them here can create a good impression of work, important for instilling early positive attitudes. You can even give them tasks that make them feel part of the business, like shredding the junk mail, stocking the fridge, or cleaning. And if something great happens, you can celebrate and tell them they were good luck, causing them to beam!
And, during a crisis few of them really understand but hear about constantly, it’s important to provide them with extra attention and emotional support and relieve your own stress this way. As school resumes this week for the little ones, meaning “homing from work” ends, I will seriously miss having them around the office.