5 Great Tips on Working While Parenting During COVID-19
As parents to kids and adults of all ages, SentryOne employees who are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic have taken to an internal Slack channel to share their methods for taking on full-time duties as caregivers, educators, productive workers, and entertainers. Here are 5 great tips from the (at home) front lines.
John Welch – Chief Technology Officer
First, John offers some advice on scheduling to provide structure. He also suggests that we remain somewhat flexible to provide some variety.
“We've homeschooled for a few years now. A schedule is a must—but don't follow it too strictly. It will still provide some structure to the day, but (you should) take a 10-minute detour when you get the chance—your kids will appreciate it.”
John also suggests keeping fun top of mind by including entertainment. He also reminds us not to forget about treats for the parents!
“One thing we found particularly useful when we were getting started was to schedule something entertaining partway through the morning and afternoon so that the kids had something to look forward to doing. It tended to keep them more focused if we made it contingent on finishing a lesson or some block of work. Speaking of which, it's about time for my afternoon treat (whiskey).”
Beth Kelleher – Business Development Manager
Beth shares how, even at a young age, kids can be challenged to meet objectives.
“I have a 4 and 5-year-old. My 4-year-old goes to preschool basically to socialize and be the official mean girl. My 5-year-old is a book worm who is missing his friends, teachers, and structure. We have been leveraging the apps that the kids use through school and I give them a check list of what I want them to accomplish (i.e.1 hour of apps, 30 min of reading, 2 worksheets, science time, art time). I use a dry erase board to give them different challenges. [As an] added bonus—my oldest helped my youngest with her learning today.”
Next, she tells a quick story that illustrates how attentive kids can be to what is going on in the world.
“Strange side note.... last night my youngest was playing dolls and asked me to baby sit her dolly. She handed me the doll, walked away and came back saying "I missed you today. I have to work from home now because of the flu."
Cameron Presley – Engineering Team Lead
Cameron has found success in working diligently to maintain the schedule to which his son has grown accustom.
“We've got one son, but he can easily be a handful at this age (quickly approaching 2). The best approach we've found is to keep him to the schedule he had at daycare (snack time, circle time, playing outside, etc...). It's immensely helpful that both my wife and I work remote so we can take shifts on watching him.”
He also shares an important tip on making sure parents and children get some physical activity in.
“We've found that exploring the neighborhood on foot has been a good way to burn some energy off of him.”
Niall Maguire – Engineering Team Lead (Dublin, IE)
Niall conscripted an assistant to keep everyone safe and occupied while construction work was in progress.
“My assistant while the roof in the house gets fixed today. Unfortunately, he knows no React.js or how to go to bed, but that is another story.”
Chris Everhart – Lead Scrum Master
Chris has captured the spirit of work/life harmony by bringing Agile management techniques into keeping thing on track at home.
“My son now has remote learning. Since his mom and I both work all day, I decided to empower him to control his own work through the day by making him a Kanban board. Let's see how this goes.”
Great Culture Beats the Flu
This is a difficult time regardless of where you are in the world. We’ve worked very hard to ensure a work culture that cares deeply about the well-being of each other and our families. It has been wonderful to watch everyone sharing their tips and experiences for parenting while working from home.
If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to leave a comment. We can make sure to share your advice in our Slack channel as well!
Jason has worked in technology for over 20 years. He joined SentryOne in 2006 having held positions in network administration, database administration, and software engineering. During his tenure at SentryOne, Jason has served as senior software developer and founded both Client Services and Product Management. His diverse background with relevant technologies made him the perfect choice to build out both of these functions. As SentryOne experienced explosive growth, Jason returned to lead SentryOne Client Services, where he ensures that SentryOne customers receive the best possible end to end experience in the ever-changing world of database performance and productivity.