As more parents are working from home, because of “shelter-in-place” or “stay home /work safe” initiatives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. the house has more inhabitants for longer stretches of the day. This makes for a more crowded house and more hectic day for parents and children alike. Generally, parents who work outside the home have routines that look something like - drop the children at daycare/school/babysitter; pick up morning coffee; make it to the office by 8 am; chit-chat; start work surrounded by a group of like-minded individuals with goals aligned; drive home; an after-school activity; make dinner; help with homework eat; prepare for bedtime. Rinse and repeat.
Endiem parents answered questions about their differing WFH parenting experiences. “Homeschooling” is a challenge faced by parents who previously felt secure in the fact that their children, no matter where they attended during the daytime hours, were learning and being engaged. But it is now up to parents to make sure schoolwork gets done and that children are learning and developing. Endiem’s CEO, Geraldine Gray, with now 4-year-old toddler twins, ensures her children are learning to recognize numbers and letters relative to their day. Cecelia, ADvantage Junior Analyst, has a son in college and her biggest challenge is scheduling meal times around his class schedule. Will, Delivery Lead, has one high school-aged child and finds that making time for family is easier now that his teenager no longer needs to go to different places during the day, he even said they have more opportunities to check in with one another throughout the day. Whereas, Geraldine said her time table for working hours has shifted a bit. “Hahaha! My days are MUCH shorter - I start around 9 am and have to finish by 4 pm and allow for multiple distractions and interruptions.”
Endiem employees working from home with spouses have different experiences from those hanging solo. Where small children are involved, some parents take shifts spending half the day on mommy/daddy duty and the other half hiding away to do work. Will observed that having everyone home has slowed internet bandwidth; substantially slowing productivity. But still, most Endiem employees find their organizational skills improved with WFH. They adhere to a to-do list, have a daily schedule, or make one big task their daily priority to keep their eye on the ball even with chaos all around them. Geraldine explained the way she keeps on task, “I have a strict list. I try to focus on one task at a time, and I enjoy getting one or five things done and delivered each day.”
When asked “What has been most rewarding about working from home?” All parents agreed the time spent with their children is invaluable. They have more time to personally connect with their families and more opportunities to have one-on-one time with each member. Carving out time for work and family is a challenge, with the current situation, the challenge has grown. At Endiem, we’re itching to get back to our normal routines but, we’ll remember this unprecedented time and the memories we made with our families along the way.