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Working-from-home must-haves for parents

Working-from-home must-haves for parents


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Those of us who are working parents are always trying to find a balance between the needs of our families and the expectations of our jobs. Now that many of us are also working from home, the challenges have multiplied. I've worked remotely before, but only for a day here or there, nothing consistent. So recently, I've had to learn quickly what I need to make myself more efficient and able to stay on top of all the usual, but now unusual things – school assignments for my kids, dinner for the family, my work, etc. – while all of us are at home.

During work hours, apps and tools like Zoom, Asana, and Slack help me stay in touch with my work team and on top of projects; meanwhile, a shared Google calendar helps my husband and me keep track of each other's meetings and our daughter's classes and social groups. We've also made some judicious purchases to help minimize distractions and maximize the time we spend working.

Here are some items that can help you solve any work-from-home issues you may be having they way they did for us.

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  • Color-coded buckets

    Really Good Stuff Plastic Storage Baskets

    These buckets have become our go-to for keeping our family's homeschool assignments organized, as well as helping me maintain my own sanity during the workday. Each night, my husband and I load them up with various activities; each color is a different subject. During the at-home school day, our kids get to choose which color/subject to tackle at any given time, without any input from us. This gives them needed routine as well as a little bit of healthy control.

    Available at Amazon starting at $38.60

  • A dedicated desk

    Simple Living Corner Desk and Hutch Set

    Having a space set apart for my work at home helps me stay organized and focused. But since we don't have a home office, the only place in our house where I can close the door for things like conducting client calls is our bedroom, and that's already full of furniture. Luckily, we found this desk; it doesn't take up a lot of square footage and it's big enough to hold my laptop, mouse, and a plant that makes me feel good.

    Available at Overstock starting at $205.49

  • Lap desk

    LapGear Designer Lap Desk

    This literal laptop desk is great for when I need a change of scenery from my bedroom "office." It's big and sturdy and holds my laptop when I'm seated without any annoying wobbling, but is light enough to tote around whenever and wherever I need to roam within the confines of my home.

    Available at Amazon starting at $32.99

  • Headphones

    Apple AirPods with Charging Case

    For me, the best way to keep nonwork distractions to a minimum is plugging into my AirPods. These state-of-the-art earbuds do a great job of minimizing background noise, and I love their Bluetooth functionality so I can listen to podcasts or make phone calls without having to change gears.

    Available at Amazon starting at $139

  • Green screen

    Webaround Portable Webcam Background

    If you want to take full advantage of all the fun virtual backgrounds available for Zoom as well as gamer apps like Twitch and more, a green screen is a must. This one clips onto the back of a chair. Now go forth and turn yourself into a potato.

    Available at Amazon starting at $65

  • Computer mouse

    ShhhMouse Wireless Ergonomic Mouse

    This wireless mouse will be a great addition to your home office, as it takes some of the strain off your wrists and hands when using a laptop all day long.

    Available at Amazon starting at $15.99

  • Walkie-talkies

    Motorola T100TP Talkabout Radio 3 Pack

    Not only are these walkie-talkies the best entertainment for our kids, they’re useful when you want to ask someone in the house to make you a cup of coffee.

    Looking for more ideas on how to manage your day while working from home? Our article I'm working from home full-time with a toddler: Here's what works for me has more ideas for remotely working parents.

    Available at Amazon starting at $36.99


  • Watch the video: Working from Home AND Homeschooling? This is What I Do (July 2022).


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