Corona Times - How to Deal with WFH & WOH Challenge & Keep Your Family Together
Created by Narayan Updated on Jul 08, 2020
Coronavirus epidemic has affected our day to day life. Since the virus is communicable, social interaction has been one of the most significant causes of the spread. Home quarantine and social isolation are the most effective ways to stop the virus from spreading.
Closing down offices and schools has created another lifestyle challenge for parent and child not used to spending time together in a confined space. While quarantine and social distancing have become the buzzword of this global epidemic, let’s see what they actually mean.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing had multiple conditions added to it in the course of Coronavirus spread. Now it would mean something like this:
Greet the people you meet without shaking hands or touching
Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from other people
Travel only if absolutely necessary
Avoid contact with the elderly and vulnerable people (people with respiratory or heart ailments, weak immune system, on heavy medication) even if you are healthy
Avoid crowded places
Self-Quarantine vs. Social Distancing
Self-quarantine has been recommended for those with a history of travel to the infected places. The major difference between social distancing and self-quarantine is that:
Social distancing must be maintained by everyone
Self-quarantine is advisable to those who may have been infected
Self-quarantine does mean - not moving out of your house or apartment and minimising contact with other people for at least 14 days. 14 days, because Covid-19 virus takes that much time to show any sign of presence. But, you can still infect others coming in contact with you even if you do not feel any effect of the virus.
When Should You Self-Quarantine?
Self-quarantine if you recently returned from a foreign country, or travelled to a city, hospital, or met someone with similar travel history or with a positive Covid-19 infection. This way you can stop passing the infection on to other people.
Work From Home & The Challenges
The Coronavirus effect has been such that companies which used to insist on coming to the office for any type of official work, have been forced to send their employees home even for work. As a result, most of the non-essential workforce is now working from home.
In usual times this is the period when summer vacations start and families are planning their annual trips together. However, Coronavirus has put a break on that too, grounding the family inside the house.
Some of the Side-Effects of Working From Home
Now work from home has two struggling parties, i.e.; parents and child, and the effects could be different for both. However, as parents are the driver of the environment they need to be more attentive towards these challenges:
Regular disturbance: Child playing around or seeking attention, house chores need assistance.
Work of Home (WOH) & distribution of household responsibilities since maids are also absent
Visible but unavailable for anyone
Family members passing judgements on your work or way of working
Risk of arguing in front of the child
We-time challenge (privacy)
Role-modelling all the time for the child
How to Overcome WFH Challenges?
Challenges of working from home may be plenty, but worry not, there are fewer and simpler solutions. Here are the most effective ones:
Exercise is very effective when it comes to reducing stress and preparing you for the day. A morning exercise routine, even if within the house would do wonders for the family. Better if you do in the morning.
2. Try One Step at a Time
Household & work might seem like multi-tasking and balancing work, but it’s much simpler than that if you can organise it. Doing one thing at a time will keep you focused and effective with work and with your family.
2. Work on Perception
Stephen R. Covey in his bestselling book, “7 Habits of Highly Successful People,” talks about this one basic quality of influential personalities. Perception can change the way you think, react and gain from a situation.
Especially in a household, positive perception can go a long way, when everyone is stuck with everyone else.
3. Learn to Appreciate more Often
Communication gap is one of the biggest challenges of working remotely. At work, when interacting face to face, you can capture a broader spectrum, criticise and even get away with sarcasm.
However, with remote connections, criticism can cause irreparable gulf between people, as it becomes difficult to empathize with others. On the other hand, appreciation and finding positives before negatives will help you keep your relations strong force motivated.
On the home front, this is even more important, as now everyone seems to have at least one reason to be stressed, a little appreciation on and off can keep them shedding their stress.
4. Engage With the Child Together & Individually
Both parents are responsible for the welfare of the child. Therefore, in these trying times as well both spouses have to stand together to look after the child.
To manage it better, you can decide on the times to do it together, and the times for each parent to take care of the child individually.
5. Schedule Your Availability for House Chores
When you work from home, Homework comes along with it, so better accept and incorporate housework in your calendar. Mark your availability for helping around the house.
6. Pay Attention to Your Child
When the child is small, paying attention mostly means physically taking care of the baby. But, as they grow, they need to converse, announce their discoveries and receive appreciation for their efforts at least from the parents.
Thus, make sure to take some time out to indulge in activities with your child. Listening to them is the most important.
Finally, don’t forget, work from home is not going to be a picnic. Just in case your family is taking your work or these times as a wonderful holiday, remind them of why it is so. As time passes, only self-quarantine and social distancing can effectively stop Coronavirus from spreading. Additionally, this epidemic, like any other, can have huge economic consequences.