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A growing number of employees are opting to work from home. According to a report, 3.9 million Americans are or have spent some time working from home, with 52% of employees being female. Most of the women who choose to do their jobs in the comfort of home are mothers as it appears to be the best solution to achieve that elusive work-life balance that every employee dreams of. With the many options to make money at home, it’s expected that more moms will be joining the work at home movement in the coming years. But when family or work emergencies strike, is it possible to still do well at your job, tend to your family’s most pressing needs, and do it all without having a meltdown?
Believe it or not, you can certainly have a fruitful career, maintain an orderly home, and tend to your loved ones’ needs all at the same time. With some planning, you can definitely get it together each and every time. Here are a few hacks to help you cope with family and work emergencies while working from home.
Emergency: You’ve got a sick child
It happens—one minute your tiny tot seems to be right as rain, the next, your child is coughing, sneezing, and has a fever. While you’ve probably mastered the art of keeping your child entertained while you’re working, it’s possible that you’re at a loss on what to do now that he or she is not feeling well and is wanting lots of cuddles and attention.
If you have a child at home, it’s important to always have some child paracetamol on hand so you don’t have to run out and get some when illness strikes. It’s imperative to anticipate things like this, especially when the weather is changing or if there’s a bug that’s going around. Also, make sure to have juice, crackers, and some of your little one’s favorite foods in the refrigerator.
If your child wants some attention, don’t push him or her away. The solution—place a cot or a sleeping bag right next to your workstation so your child can be near you while you work. It’s not ideal especially if you’re doing your work on your PC, but it’s much better than having to get up and run to your child’s room every time he or she calls for you. Oftentimes, your presence may be enough to get your little one to feel a little better while he or she is sick.
Emergency: Your computer breaks down
Having a PC or laptop break down is the stuff of nightmares for online workers. This scenario not only costs you hours of paid work, but it may even lead to all your hard work getting wiped out in an instant. Even important files, photos, videos, presentations, or your dynamic and updated resume can be gone if you don’t take the right action to revive your PC. So what can you do if your trusty piece of equipment suddenly conks out in the middle of work?
Ideally, online workers should have a backup system just in case something like this happens. Store important files on an external hard drive and make sure to write down usernames and passwords in a notebook so you can do your work on another computer if you have to. If you’re not tech savvy, don’t try to fix your computer yourself—take it to an expert and describe what exactly happened to your equipment. Call your manager or supervisor and explain what happened. Let your superiors know about your technical difficulties so you can have a deadline extension or perhaps you can come to an agreement on how and when you can complete your work or duties.
Emergency: You only have a few minutes to make dinner
Your video conference ran a little late and now you’ve only got 30 minutes to make dinner. What do you do? Don’t reach for the cereal box—there are other ways to create a healthy meal in a matter of minutes.
Moms who work from home should have a stash of versatile ingredients that will work for a number of quick and easy meals. You should always have some dry pasta, tomato sauce or salsa, a roasted chicken, fresh veggies such as cucumber, tomatoes, and lettuce, soft tortillas, olive oil, tuna in water, fish fillet, and fresh fruit to start with. With these ingredients, you can make a pasta dish, healthy wraps, a salad, or a hearty main dish. On the weekend you may want to cook a stew and freeze it so all you have to do during crunch time is to heat it up before serving to your loved ones.
Coping with work while taking care of your family’s needs may be challenging, but with preparation, planning, and keeping a cool head, it can be done. Try these tips to deal with family and work emergencies and stay on top of everything while working from home.
About Jane Sandwood
Jane has been a freelance writer and editor for over 10 years. She has written for both digital and print across a wide variety of fields. Her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and well being in their everyday life. And when she isn’t writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a good book, at the gym or just spending quality time with her family.