2020 archive

Three tips for families work are working from home

  1. Save Your Boxes. Okay so this one I instantly thought about as soon as my wife said, “don’t worry honey, we can just order that off Amazon.com instead of going to the store. Online orders are going to be even bigger than they have ever been. The amount of stuff that will be offered to ship to you instead of you going to a location is going to be here to stay. So why save your boxes you might ask? It’s simple, a fort is the answer. But not a simple fort. A fort that you as a kid would have dreamed of. Go big for your family. The more boxes the better. (I recommend setting up the fort in the kids room to save space. This is a great way to spend time with your family without the usually TV time. I mean, look at this one an architect dad built for his kids: This dad (from Fatherly) is my absolute hero.
  2. Take a walk or more two. I’ve found that taking a walk twice a day has really been beneficial for my family for a number of reasons. First, exercise is great and so is fresh air especially being couped up in quarantine. Second, the walks tire the young one out right before nap/bed. I’ve found that my kid goes to bed easier if she’s tires herself out. Besides being obvious that’s she’s tired, the walk really adds a layer of exercise that simply playing in our house just doesn’t tire her out the same way. Finally, it’s a way to spend tome with your family without being plugged in. One person takes a phone for emergencies, then the rest of the electronics stay home is what I personally do with my family. Besides this being a mini list within a list, I believe this point is probably most important to make home life better during quarantine.
  3. Try starting a new hobby or even one of your family members hobbies/interest. This one might be a little harder to embrace than a walk around the neighborhood. My spouse for example loves board games, which I generally am not interested in playing. During the quarantine I’ve made it a point to play a game or two with my spouse that I don’t normally do. Why you might ask? Well I’m spending time with them that I normally wouldn’t be which is always a great time with them but I’m also appreciating their interests. This appreciation makes me love my spouse even more because I see a side of them that I don’t get to see due to stresses and burdens of everyday life. They are able to relax and I get to see a different atmosphere of a person. It’s basically a way to date your spouse without leaving the house. Their interests don’t need to be your interests, but I recommend that you see them in their element an you might love what you see!

About the Author:  Bill Frank, our newest “Prince” hails from Nevada and just prior to Covid-19 was about to relocate to Orlando and join the family business.  Bill and his wife and daughter are hunkering down while we wait for the opportunity to move East to be safe for his dad.  We welcome his youthful insight to our blog about Life, Love, Family and Home

How to make working from home, work from home Part 2

So continuing from my post on Wednesday, this is part 2 of a 2 part series.

My mom used to keep my brother and I happy by what she called Mon-Fries.  We had a theme for the week and if we were good all week we got to go to a special place.  Monday was always the library (local and small, you could pull out all your books on the subject you decide on) so for instance in the embarrassing picture below, this was me and Teddy during American History of the West week.  Well, cowboys and Indians.  On Monday we pulled a lot of books out of the library (we had just gone to the Smithsonian Museum earlier that week and we were really into all the tools and of course, making war paint and costumes were the Tuesday through Thursday projects.  We got into a mess that day but I still remember it.  On Friday we went on a field trip – don’t remember the trip but apparently we visited an historic village in North West Jersey at Waterloo Village, my folks favorite place.

Lastly some quick tips about phone calls. So, if you have to make a lot of phone calls and you are still getting interrupted. Consider these next times you’re on that conference call. Leading up to the call, communicate, communicate, communicate. Let your family know when you need 30-1 hour to talk on the phone. See if they need anything! If it’s a long important call, consider setting up a movie or activity for the kids to be occupied in while your meeting is going. Ask them what they need so that they can be settled in and you more importantly undisturbed. If you get frequent calls, consider having your kids make you a doorknob sign that says “dada or mama is on the phone!” It’s a great way to get your kids involved and to start thinking about what “work from home” now means. It gets your kids engaged and most importantly they get to be creative and make something for you. My neighbor puts a box that his son, “who’s learning to write and read” can write down questions he has for dad while dad is busy doing spreadsheets and that way at dinner they have plenty of things to talk about. It also a great way to bridge kids into journals and diaries as my neighbor did this when he was a kid and continues to journal to this day.

My main point in this entire blog is to say ‘communicate’. A lot of fights and frustrations happen when you don’t talk to your wife (in my case) about what is going on with you. If you are stressed, you aren’t getting anything done. Let your significant other know you are having trouble figuring out work-time because they may have a great suggestion for you as they probably know you inside and out. Welcome the fresh perspective as it could help make chaos into order. Finally, make a designated time for your family to be able to spend time with you.

How to make working from home, work from home

This is part 1 of a two-part series.

So we know that companies are attempting to adapt to the new world which they like to call “these uncertain times,” although you may be sick of that phrase. Companies are offering delivery, curb side pickup, “better” online ordering, and even more customer service options if you could believe it! But what about you? How are you affected? Are you able to transition office life with junior munchkin running around in the background with a diaper on his head screaming bloody murder as you conference call your boss and your boss’s boss. (This happened to my good friend last week! Had to share!) 

 

Now everyone has distractions from home. A big one is your family. My 2-year-old doesn’t really get what working from home means and it’s normally playtime 24/7. Yet, work goes on at Pegeen.com so I’ve come up with a few tips for the family to help make working from home productive. 

 

The first one is the most important and that is establishing “work hours”. Unless you have a phone call for work, you should establish “working hours” with your partner. Working from home especially if your partner works as well can be a game of “hey can you watch the kids for 2 hours here and I’ll give you 2 hours there.” By trading off time, it gives both of you the chance to get work progress done while not feeling overwhelmed with kids running in and out. Just remember to really capitalize on the time your significant other gives you as undisturbed time is rare with a family. 

Sometimes we are with the kids on our own. Your significant other might be an essential employee and suddenly you have a huge project due today for work and no one to help make Mac n Cheese or do laundry for the toddler. What to do, what to do? Well you still need to watch your kids and make them food, you can still get work done and be super parent! So, if your little one still takes naps, you need to be working during the nap time. Everything is on hold during nap time. This is your only time to get work done undisturbed. No chores, no cleaning, if your children aren’t taking naps anymore then they are old enough to understand and give mommy and daddy time to work with minimal interruptions. Unfortunately, you’re going to be exhausted because a lot of late nights are going to be the standard not the norm. Most of your best work might be after the kids go to bed. You might want to consider waking up 2 hours earlier than your kids normal wake up time to just crank out some spreadsheets in the morning before the chaos resumes.

When my brother and I were small, my mom had designated a portion of the basement where her office was, and had adapted it with hundreds of those 12″ color squares and inside a play fence were our toys and places to put things, our train table and just about anything a toddler and his older brother would want to keep us safe.  As we got a bit older things in the play area changed till we were let out of our “pen”,  Here is Teddy (we called him The Terror and you can see why) outside our pen but safe on our rubber mat.  The basement was huge but you get the idea.

 I will continue this post with more ideas because nap-time is over!!