Chore by Age Lists and Other Tips to Solve Parents’ Remote Working Challenges

chore by age

Getting through your daily work to do list is challenging on most days.

The dynamic gets even more complicated if you’re a remote worker trying to concentrate while family members are going about their days around you. But, there are helpful tips from experts and something as simple as chore by age lists can make all the difference. 

‘Remote working’ has become a trending topic over the last few years, in part because many still debate whether it’s beneficial in terms of productivity. But there’s no question that it has been a welcome solution to many parents wanting to spend more time with the kids, or those who need to be home to look after them. So, remote work is only getting more popular

But, if you’ve tried it, you know about its challenges too. 

Some videos showing kids popping up in virtual meetings have gone viral and although it draws a laugh, many parents are concerned about keeping balance between work and family responsibilities at home. 


Effective Tips for Remote Working Parents

If you’re doubting whether remote working is for you, don’t give up yet. Implement one of these tips at a time, measure the results and find a new rhythm at home that will see your work get done, while you also enjoy your family more. 


Set Up a Dynamic Home Office 

Productive remote working starts with the right working environment. Your work space determines whether you can focus optimally and optimize productivity. 

Ideally, you need to use a separate room as an office, rather than the kitchen table or a corner of your bedroom. Then, you can close the door and limit distractions and at the end of the day you can exit and close the door, so you don’t see your papers and computer outside of work hours.

No matter the space you pick, implement the following:

  • Declutter it, since experts have proven a neat space is more beneficial to productivity. 
  • Invest in a quality desk and chair so you can have correct posture and prevent backpain. 
  • Limit visual distractions by turning the table away from a window showing lots of traffic outside, or the rest of the house with people walking about.
  • Use headphones to block out noise and play white noise or music of your choice to help you focus. 


Everyone Must Respect the Office Boundaries

With the office set up, everyone must understand that certain rules apply to that space. Depending on your setup, communicate some of the following during a family meeting:

  • Tell family members what your planned hours are when working at home. Ask them to not disturb you during those times, unless it’s an emergency.
  • No one is allowed to touch anything on the desk. If there are small children in the house and you’re worried about valuable documents, a lockable cupboard is essential. 
  • Consider making a sign to stick on your chair or the door, which can communicate whether others are allowed to bother you or not. Add this to the chore by age to do list discussed below, to make children feel part of the plan of helping mom or dad get their work done. 


Be Smart About Everyone’s Schedules

Reviewing the entire household’s routines could help you become more productive. You’ll need to take a critical look at your unique setup, but common changes that have positive impact include:

  • Getting up earlier: If starting late is often the reason you’re not getting through the day’s work, try and get kids to school just a little earlier than usual. When you start the day calmly, instead of feeling stressed and flustered at the outset, your morning is bound to be more productive, so you have less to do by the time kids get home. 
  • Partners alternating their work schedules: When both parents work from home, discuss the possibility of each taking up home responsibilities on different days of the week. Whoever tends to home related issues that day may have to work a little more that evening, but since it’s planned it’s less stressful and disruptive. 
  • Optimize kids’ nap times and other time slots: When kids are napping or doing sports, it’s tempting to take a break yourself. However, even if it’s while waiting for them in the car, make the most of those times and get work done. This will enable you to be more present during times they want your attention.
  • Rethink home maintenance schedules: There may be more effective ways of getting things done around the house, so there’s more time for work and family. For example, buying in bulk means less time spent in grocery stores and meal prep at the start of the month gives you lots of frozen dinners to simplify getting dinner ready each night. 


It takes lots of self-discipline to manage remote working successfully. But it’s worth it in the end. 


Guidelines for Conference Calls

If conference calls regularly form part of your daily schedule, find strategies that work, so they can take place without you stressing or other callers getting aggravated. Some helpful tips:

  • Use a backdrop that carries little likelihood of a family member moving behind you.
  • Always inform your family when you’re starting a call or put up a sign so they’re aware. 
  • Rather cancel if a family emergency forces you to look after the kids during that time, otherwise you won’t focus on the discussion anyway. 
  • Keep your boss up to date on home-life changes, such as a child being sick—that’s much better than mentioning it 5 minutes before a scheduled meeting. 


A Chore by Age Chart for Everyone’s Benefit 

Remote working may be a situation that requires more assistance from your kids in terms of home maintenance. For example, since you’re helping with homework or attending a sports match at a time where you would usually be working at your office desk, the kids may need to help with dinner so you can check your emails at the end of the day. 

We suggest you view this as a benefit, and communicate it in that light to them, so they embrace the new guidelines with enthusiasm. For one thing, you’re present at those times that really matter and furthermore giving kids chores teaches valuable life skills.

The key to making it work though, is creating a chore by age chart, so everyone in the household does their part, no matter their age. 

Yes, kids as young as 2 years of age can start helping out at home! Also, children may enjoy taking up responsibility, since it proves to them they have value and purpose. 

It will be helpful if you add fun elements, especially as part of holiday task lists. Then, kids won’t become bored and you can still get some work done, even when they have a break from school. 

It’s important to create your chore by age task list after identifying what tasks are appropriate for each age group. This will ensure that after initially showing and explaining what you want them to do, they can complete their chores even without supervision without putting themselves or the property at risk. 


Manage Your Employer’s and Colleagues’ Expectations

Because you’re loyal to your employer, you may be carrying unnecessary stress, simply because of the fear of disappointing others. Remember, remote working has been around for a while, so your employer may be more understanding and flexible than you think. As long as your team knows what to expect, they’re likely to accommodate you. 

If your current schedule isn’t working for you, discuss possible new solutions with your boss, for example: 

  • Schedule different meeting times so it always falls during the time when kids are at school.
  • Only connect with key people at the office, so you can keep time-wasting communication to a minimum.
  • Request a more flexible daily schedule. Commit to the usual deadlines, but ask if you can work flexitime, rather than the traditional 9-to-5. 


Research New Tech 

No matter your biggest challenge working from home, there may be technology out there that is helping other parents get more done, focus more or worry a little less about the kids while they’re in a meeting. 

With Enzo as a chore tracker, you can easily make your chore by age lists more interactive and check everyone’s progress on the go. Also, by using white noise apps, you’ll find it easier to focus despite the family’s noises and video feeds from your kids’ rooms will help you keep an eye while getting some work done. 


Digital Chore Chart Ideas

Yes, you can keep on enjoying the benefits of remote working and having more time with the family. With a few new habits, a family meeting to explain new ground rules and resources like efficient chore charts, you can get more work done AND enjoy parenting more than before. 

And never underestimate the power of technology—such as Enzo that can help track chores. Your kids will love using an app instead of checking a piece of paper, so download it today and see how Enzo can help your home and career life.