This post was originally published on our customer service blog, Communicate Better Blog. The topic of telecommuting and even adding children to the mix appeals to so many small business and home office readers.
For those that haven’t read my mini bio, I am a mother of three that primarily works from home. First and foremost, I would like to say that I am very blessed and thankful for the opportunity this has provided me to be with my little ones. However, working in customer service with noise makers surrounding you is a bit nerve racking. I’ve been asked many, many times, “How do you do it?” Well here are some pointers.
Relax & Breathe – I have worked in customer service for eight years. Eight years equals lots and lots of phone time. I’m sure a lot of customers have heard my kids in the background. Not everyone is comfortable dealing with individuals that work from home. Fortunately, customers that learned of my situation were encouraging. They often praised Phone.com for providing the opportunity to work from home.
Teach your kids – Raising children is a constant teaching game. I began working from home when my oldest was two. I taught her, over time, to play as quietly as she could when I was on the phone. In the beginning this wasn’t an easy task, but as long as she got to be in the same room as mommy, she was a happy camper. Overtime it became automatic for her to play quietly when she heard my phone ringing and amazingly her behavior was passed on to her brother and sister. By her example they learned that phone calls meant whisper time.
Managing Time – Take advantage of every break you receive. This year my kids are all in school and I utilize every break to get something done. A lot can get done in fifteen minutes. You can squeeze in some hair styling, teeth brushing and shoe tying. Thirty minutes? Get your kids and run out the door as fast as you can and enjoy the sunshine. Have a meeting? No problem. Give your kids something to do that’s new to them and it will occupy their time so you can focus. Nowadays you can print tons of free activity pages off the Internet. Over the summer my kids took to board games, reading, coloring, play dates and their X-Box Kinect.
Remember that road blocks will pop up. Your kids aren’t always going to behave perfectly and the stress of managing two jobs will arise. Patience is key. Be thankful for the opportunity you have been given and the time it will allow you to be with your family.