5 Top Tips for Balancing Work and the Kids during the Summer Holidays
While the summer holidays present parents with a great opportunity to spend time as a family, it can also be difficult to balance work and the kids. Each year, working mums and dads face the challenge of keeping up with their busy schedules, as well as keeping their children entertained—but this period doesn’t need to be as stressful as it seems.
There are a number of things that employers and employees alike can do to make this time a little easier, and in turn reduce pressures and boost productivity.
1. Flexible working
While it is not always possible to accommodate every employee request, employers should try to allow for flexible working wherever possible. For instance, for some parents, having the option to work from home one or two more days a week so that they can look after their kids can be a big help.
Or for others, the ability to start work a bit earlier in the morning so they can finish a bit earlier in the afternoon, or vice versa, can allow them to work at the times that will have the least interruptions. This not only makes life easier for the parents, but surveys have also shown that this flexibility enables staff to work more productively.
2. Manage everyone’s expectations
As a working parent, one of the best ways to ease the summer holiday stress is through managing the expectations of both your colleagues and your children.
Make it clear to your kids when you will be working, so that they know when you will be busy and when you will be free to spend time with them. You can also do this through setting clear signifiers, like wearing work clothes even while at home. Or, set the kids off planning a game or activity that you can all do together when you finish work.
As for your employer and colleagues, more often than not they will be understanding and empathetic of the situation you are in. Let them know what your schedule is looking like and be honest about what work you can and can’t take on. An open and honest conversation like this can help avoid overcommitting, and ease any pressure you might be feeling, as well as allow your employer to plan more efficiently.
3. Make use of your annual leave
The summer holidays can be a busy time for businesses, with a lot of holiday requests across the company. But, it is important for employers to acknowledge the challenges their employees with children may be facing and, when they can, accommodate holiday requests.
If parents are able to make use of their annual leave, this not only allows them to have some quality time with their families, but it can also boost morale and avoid burnout, ultimately increasing productivity in the workplace.
4. Maximise on time in the morning and evening
When trying to balance work and the kids, it can help to make use of the quieter times of day, when you have less distractions. For example, you could set your alarm a bit earlier and get a jumpstart on your emails before your children wake up. Or ask your employer if you can step away from work slightly earlier than usual in the afternoon and come back to it in the evening once the kids have gone to bed.
5. Turn to other parents for support
There’s no doubt that many families are in the same boat, all facing the same childcare challenges over the summer holidays. A great way parents can support one another in this is by setting up a childcare rota, so that on your busier days you don’t have to worry about the kids, and same for the other parents involved.
Despite these tips, there sometimes will be days over the summer where trying to juggle work and the children just feels like an impossible task. Because of this, families will occasionally need to turn to summer camps or paid childcare. All of this, plus any weekend activities or holidays to keep the kids entertained, all generates extra costs for parents.
As an employer, any extra help that can be offered during this period can make a huge difference. So why not consider giving your staff a little summer boost with an Asda For Business Gift Card, and make the grocery shop or uniform costs for next year feel a little more manageable. Redeemable in-store or online at groceries.asda.com or george.com, there is always something for everyone; and now that Asda have dropped and locked their prices, a little can go a really long way.
Find out more here.