Working from home with kids is not the easiest setup, but it’s also not impossible. The key is finding a schedule that works for both you and your children.
Add to that a few helpful pieces of technology and the task becomes even more doable. We’ve rounded up our best tips and gadgets to increase your work-at-home productivity, while also keeping the kids happy.
Tips to Succeed When Working from Home with Kids
It is essential to remember that your new workday is not going to look like the typical day in the office. Long gone are the days of uninterrupted phone calls. Try these tips to keep the peace between you and your new co-workers.
- Divide Your Time. Split your time into focused hours and flexible hours. Accomplish tasks that require your undivided attention and minimal disruption away from kids. If you have young kids, this might require working before they wake up or during their nap. For more flexible tasks, such as answering emails, use noise-canceling gadgets to help you work and still be present with your children.
- Use Screen Time Wisely. TV and tablets are your only source of babysitting right now, so don’t burn your kids out on them before noon. Plan to use them 30 minutes at a time throughout the day to give you more focused work pockets. Diversify screen use, too. For example, 30 minutes of listening to a kids’ Audible book during breakfast, 30 minutes of watching a TV show mid-morning and 30 minutes of using Amazon FreeTime after lunch.
- Stretch Out Your Work Day. If possible, rotate between hands-on parent hours and work time. Sometimes, kids just need an hour of your undivided attention and love before they can play by themselves. Scheduling time in between work tasks to play a game, take a walk or do a craft together will help keep the stress level down in your home.
Must-Have Gadgets for Work-From-Home Success
Focus on optimizing your work station. You don’t need to spend a ton on fancy, new gear, but if you aren’t using tech made within the past two years, you might be feeling it.
Now that you’re working from home full time, it may be time for some strategic upgrades.
Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Working from Home
A good pair of noise-canceling headphones can keep your head at work when child chaos is unfolding around you. Here are a few of our top picks:
- JBL LIVE 650BTNC With Google, Alexa Voice Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones – Sale Price: $149.99 | Reg. Price: $199.99
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (Factory Renewed) – Sale Price: $199.95 | Reg. Price: $349.95 – Note that even though these headphones are refurbished, they still come with a one-year warranty and 30-day return window.
- Monoprice SonicSolace Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones – Sale Price: $29.99 | Reg. Price: $69.99 – Use promo code SONIC9 to get this budget-friendly option enjoyed by many Slickdealers. They come with free shipping, too.
Best Webcams for Home Offices
Webcams have been hard to find lately, but if you own a Wyze camera, you can turn it into a webcam with the company’s free help.
Slickdealer Master.Billy.Quizboy says, “Be warned: if you want to use this as a webcam, use a different mic source. Also, it may behave poorly with overhead LED or fluorescent lights.”
Even if you have a webcam attached to your laptop, a separate webcam can prevent you from being hunched over your computer all day. A well-rated option is the Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam (Reg. Price: $99.99). It comes with its own tripod so you can set it up at the right angle for the best lighting. This is also a great option for teachers who are streaming lessons.
Separate Mouse and Keyboard
Again, if you are primarily using a laptop to complete your work, do yourself a favor and set up a work station so you can plant your laptop on a desk or table rather than working from your bed or couch.
Similarly, using a wireless mouse and a separate ergonomic keyboard instead of the laptop’s can prevent worker fatigue.
Check out these deals for upgrading your home office space:
- Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000 – Sale Price: $9.99 | Reg. Price: $19.99
- Microsoft – Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Wireless USB Keyboard and Mouse – Sale Price: $119.99 | Reg. Price: $129.99 – This highly rated ergonomic keyboard is currently $10 off with free shipping.
- Fellowes Microban® Split Design Wired Keyboard – Reg. Price: $49.35 – This ergonomic keyboard has free next-day shipping and is made of antimicrobial material to keep germs away.
Keeping Kids Sane So You Can Have Work-From-Home Success
Kids are resilient, but that doesn’t mean this change is an easy one for them either. Thankfully, there are plenty of free trials and digital resources available during this time. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Free Educational Resources
- Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is offering three months of access for $0.99.
- Education.com has free worksheets and games for K-5th grade.
- Minecraft Marketplace has educational DLC.
- Khanacademy has free online courses.
- Dreambox is offering its curriculum for free.
- Prodigy is a free app and curriculum that is similar to Pokemon.
- GoNoodle has free movement, yoga and mindfulness videos.
Free Museum Tours/Operas/Zoos
- Check out San Diego’s zoo cams.
- Paris Opera is streaming live performances.
- Visit the Louvre without the crowds virtually.
- Walk the Great Wall of China from the couch.
- Rosetta Stone is offering three months free for students.
- Take free coding classes with Tynker.
- Outschool has many of their classes for free.
- Author Mo Willems did a free three-week drawing series.
- Art for Kids Hub has hundreds of kid-friendly drawing lessons on Youtube.
Bookmark our Babies & Kids Deals page for even more kids’ freebies and deals on fun toys. Even ordering small toys, games or craft supplies in the mail is an exciting treat for them.
Try setting aside certain toys, games and activities to rotate through to keep the fun alive in your household.
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