Mastering the Balancing Act: How to Work from Home with a Baby

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Published On
10 Jan, 2023
Read Time
3 minutes

More and more people are working from home in a post-COVID world. One study showed that over 12% of parents in the UK reported that they mainly work from home in their main job.

Although more mums and dads are doing it, balancing work responsibilities with parenting duties at home can be a big challenge! Let's cover some tips on how to make working from home with a baby work for you.

Top tips on working from home with a baby

The truth is parenting duties sometimes clash with work responsibilities, regardless of whether you're at home or in the office. We've gathered these tips to help make working from home with your little one more manageable:

Get organised and make a realistic routine

First things first, remember to set realistic goals and talk them through with your manager and team. Prioritising your tasks can help you to focus on what needs to be done first. It can also help to block time out in your day while your little one naps to tackle the jobs that require the most attention.

If your little one's settled into a regular sleep schedule, you can use this to plan your day by tackling your most pressing tasks while they nap. If you can work flexibly, you could try working before they wake up or after they go to sleep.

Share the load

If both you and your partner are working from home while juggling childcare, perhaps you could work in shifts. That way, one of you could look after the baby while the other works.

If you're a single parent or your partner's job isn't home-based, don't forget to lean on the support of your close friends and family members, like grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

Limit distractions

Although it's tricky, try to steer clear of distractions like social media apps during the working day. After all, you already have enough on your plate without adding endless scrolling into the mix!

If you find that you're easily distracted by mess or clutter in your eye line, perhaps you can schedule half an hour each day for chores so that you can re-focus. That way, you can get back to work once your workspace is tidy.

Find time for yourself

You're not alone if you start to feel overwhelmed by working from home while also caring for your little one. It's important to take some time to do something for yourself when you can - like watching a series, having a pampering bath, or getting out of the house for some fresh air.  

How to work from home with a toddler

While a lot of the above advice still applies, toddlers can entertain themselves for longer and they tend to have a more consistent nap schedule. So, you can be a little more organised with your day-to-day workflow.

That said, toddlers can be more demanding of attention, so it's a good idea to help them learn about independent play to reduce distractions. You could consider setting up a mini 'workstation' space near your work area or desk so that they can draw or read alongside you.

Is it illegal to work from home with a baby?

While it's not illegal to work from home with a baby or child in the UK, spending your contracted work hours on parenting duties could result in disciplinary action - unless you've made certain agreements with your employer.

If you can, it's best to consider getting childcare during work hours or request a flexible working arrangement from your employer. The UK government recently announced their plans to support flexible working. This means that all employees have the right to ask for flexible working, part-time hours, or home-working arrangements from the first day of a new job.