PM Minute: Working Remote with Family Home

The idea for today’s PM Minute comes from the convergence of unique circumstances at my house. First, today is the Martin Luther King holiday and everyone – from our college-age son down to the grade schooler is home. Second, there was a substantial snow storm over the weekend so it’s unlikely that anyone will leave the house. Finally, I’m working from home today and am grounded at home due to the same storm.

Here are a couple of tips to be productive at home when you’re not going to be alone:

1. Designate your own space. I’m lucky in that my office is in the basement, but the den, laundry room, and our oldest son’s computer desk are downstairs also. Separate yourself physically from the other living areas as much as possible.

2. Communicate clearly. It’s not reasonable to expect silence all day so clearly establish the times that you have calls or meetings and cannot be disturbed.

3. Have everyone imagine that you are at the office. Would they call you with this question or issue? If not, they should try to avoid interrupting you at home.

4. Be reasonable. They want to enjoy their day off and that you are around. Make frequent 1- or 2-minute check-ins to stay connected.

5. Finally, take advantage of the fact that everyone is home. Especially as the kids get older, it doesn’t happen very often. Schedule an hour to go out or eat lunch together at home. Have a quick cup of coffee when they finally get up and sit down for breakfast.