Coronavirus (COVID-19) and parents working from home

Tips and advice to help you find balance and create structure if you're new to working from home.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed a lot for families with children and has created challenges at times. We know parents and carers might be worried about balancing working from home with family life, from creating structure to coping with difficult feelings. We've got tips and advice to support you and your family – whether you want to try something new today or just thinking about how to work from home while also being there for your family.

Working from home 

When you're working from home, it can be difficult to find balance and feel productive, especially if you're not used to working from home. Being at home can make it easy to get sidetracked into chores during the day, or to risk work carrying over into family time.

Speak to your employer about flexibility and if it's possible to work hours that suit your family life. But remember, it's important for you to not overstretch yourself and take care of your own mental wellbeing. Make sure you know about family friendly policies that can help spread the load.

Find a suitable place to work, and if you have children at home, make sure to be close enough to supervise them. Having a set work space helps create boundaries for your work. Take regular breaks to rest and relax. Whilst it's important to have routine and structure, be prepared to adapt and be flexible to suit your family needs.

One of the biggest challenges can be supervising children appropriately. When your children need you, take time off and return to your tasks later. Give yourself permission to take care of your family and don't feel guilty for doing so.

We're working hard to make sure we're still here for children. Will you be there too?

Supporting your child at home

If your child wants to talk about coronavirus, encourage them to. Try to keep information simple, factual and communicate in a way that your child will understand. It's also important that all the adults in the child's life use the same message - it'll help build their confidence and reduce anxiety. Focus attention on positive stories about people working to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Actively listen to your child about what they're feeling or thinking about coronavirus. Using phrases like "I can hear you sound a bit anxious about that" helps them know you're listening and taking them seriously. Listening and praising them for sharing their worries can also help reduce anxiety.

Read more tips on talking to a child worried about coronavirus

Get support

Sharing your worries will help you feel less anxious or stressed. It's important to look after and be kind to yourself and know you're trying your best in a challenging and uncertain situation. Tell yourself that you're doing a good job. And seek support from your friends, family or colleagues when you need it.

Use online resources to help plan your child's day and take some of the pressure off yourself. Read advice from organisations who are there to support you and your family:

Mindfulness guide for families

Balancing your home and work life can be difficult when you're working from home. Taking care of your own and your family's well-being is so important.  Our best-selling mindfulness guide is here to help with exercises and activities to give your family the space to understand and manage how you're feeling.  

Get your mindfulness guide