Working From Home: What Your Kids Are Teaching You

Sharon Mak Career Tips, Job Search Tips, Management Best Practices Leave a Comment

From the moment that our kids come into our lives, we know that it’s our responsibility to guide and teach them. But have you ever thought about what they are teaching us, and we don’t even realize it? Working from home with kids presents us with all sorts of challenges: distractions, family conflicts, and of course, boundary issues. We spend a lot of time resolving these issues at home but how much energy do we put into solving parallel situations in the workplace? Building better ‘working’ relationships with our kids can not only help improve our business relationships; these lessons can also help us advance in our careers if we put our minds into it.

1) Showing Empathy

Just as kids need time to learn and understand new emotions and situations they encounter; we also need time to address our own needs from balancing work to dealing with the new normal during COVID-19. As adults, we must remember to keep in mind what colleagues might be struggling with—both the challenges they are facing and how it may be affecting them directly. It’s easier to practice empathy with our kids because we’re so invested in helping them develop that skill (and also because we love them). But expressing empathy with colleagues can make just as much of an impact.

2) Practicing Patience

Children are curious; they don’t see faults or flaws; they see the potential. As an adult, it is important to remember that being curious is how we learn. If a co-worker asks a question about something that may seem relatively simple – be patient if they do not understand. Try explaining the task or project differently or ask for suggestions from another colleague on how to present it in another way.

3) Practicing Forgiveness

Imagine this: You’re working from home; you see your child spill their breakfast all over the table. At this moment, it’s easy to get mad about messes, but you realize that there are things you can’t control. We can either yell, or we can teach our child that small problems are something we can solve. In the workplace, learn to let things go, and that there are situations beyond our control. Everyone has had a bad day before, and this doesn’t make them a bad person – it only makes them human.

4) Giving Appropriate Feedback & Incentive

When it comes to getting results from your kids, you often have to offer a reward or an incentive to get things done. Like it or not, adults are not much different. People are productive when motivated by clear goals and appropriate feedback. If you’re a business owner or manager, offer feedback at regular intervals and reward your employees for hitting specific company goals or targets.

In the end, working from home with kids certainly has its challenges but these learning opportunities for your kids can also translate into learning opportunities for you. Let your kids remind you to show more empathy, patience, and forgiveness to your colleagues and employees and the results will be unending, at work and at home.

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