Here’s some tips on how to make the experience go smoothly so you can maximise your work time and not get too stressed!
Once you’ve booked your sitter send them a message or phone them to talk them through what your work plan is. Give them a clear idea of where you’ll be in the house, how many hours you will work and what food/drink will be available for your child so they don’t have to interrupt you.
Agree ‘work and play zones’ ahead of time – be clear on where you are going to be working and where your family space is going to be so the sitter knows where she will be looking after your child/children.
Be clear on times when you can be disturbed and can’t. It’s good to tell the sitter when are okay times to receive a WhatsApp message and when are less useful times (i.e. in the middle of an important meeting). Think about your day and the potential ‘pain points’ when things might go wrong.
Think about whether you want your sitter to take the kids out to the local park and if so, make sure they have keys so they don’t disturb you in the middle of a call.
Think about whether there is a specific time when you need quiet. It pays to be realistic but if you’re on a call and can’t be on mute, let your sitter know that it might be a good time to put a film on/give your child/children a snack or settle them down with a book (allowing for a bit of quiet time and hopefully less potential that you’re going to have a noisy interruption).
Remember there might be some wobbles here and there and that’s normal. Children have an uncanny ability to sense when you don’t want to be disturbed. Don’t feel guilty about shutting the door and getting on with your work. And remember that there will be times when you can hear them in the background but that’s okay. The expectations from employers have changed and everyday house and family noise is expected. Remember also that sitters are really skilled in navigating the ups and downs that children have and will be able to find a good distraction activity.
Put out some favourite toys and activities in advance. Whilst sitters are great at engaging with the children they’re looking after, it’s also good to ensure there’s a few fail-safe favourites that you’ve left out for your child to play with. These may be Lego or colouring or a dolls house- leave these things in an accessible place and tell the sitter about how much your child loves playing with them. These familiar things will reassure the child and make them feel safe because they’re doing something they enjoy doing.
Leave snacks/lunch/drinks out in an obvious place. It can be a good idea to leave these in an easy to find place so you won’t be troubled when your child gets hungry. Again- make sure you brief the sitter so they know what your child can and can’t eat (as sometimes kids aren’t entirely truthful in terms of what is and isn’t allowed!)
WFH with children at home is always a bit of a challenge but Bubble can support you through it. Why not book a sitter and find out for yourself?