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Design Tips for Work-from-Home Parents

The reality is that many of our homes these days are being used in ways we hadn’t originally intended. With schools and offices now being recreated in our homes, things are often challenging. Fortunately, if you buy one of the new homes in Grand Forks, you can choose one that provides some flexibility with either an extra bedroom, dining room, or dedicated study/home office. Regardless of how flexible your home may be, here are some tips to make working from home with children at home more productive and happy for everyone.

Your home already has zones in the sense of a kitchen, bedrooms, living room, etc. The key is to look at those existing zones and see which ones work best for your new needs. If your home has a dining nook and a dining room, you may be better off right now converting the dining room into a home office or a homeschool area. On the other hand, if you’re going to be on the phone with clients a lot, you may need to sacrifice a guest room or create a nook in your owner’s suite so you can have the necessary privacy without children’s voices interrupting.

While it’s important to look at the rooms in your home that will work best as an office or school room, you also need to think about the reality of your life with your children. Their ages and personal needs will play an important role in choosing where you work and may require more creative solutions. Work-at-home parents with children who need help focusing will need to be cognizant of the need to keep open sightlines to prevent kids from becoming distracted. On the other hand, if you have children who are likely to squabble, you should consider setups that keep them separated as much as possible, depending on ages and needs, of course. The point is that you know your children and need to take into consideration their ability to be alone or not and how much supervision they need.

Still, as adults, you’re working as well and need your own space to function properly. You may need peace and quiet to focus and get work done or to make phone calls. That isn’t always easy to find in a full household and sometimes it takes a combination of boundaries and creative thinking. If you have a home office with a door, then consider hanging a sign on the door when you absolutely cannot be interrupted except for the direst of emergencies. If both parents are working from home, that may require each of you to take turns being available, depending on your children’s ages. If you get really desperate for somewhere quiet to make some phone calls or do some work, make the most of the walk-in-closet in your owner’s suite. A lamp, and a folding table and chair may get you through those times when you really need quiet and focus.

Finally, don’t let your home offices and home schools take over your entire home. Make sure you have the materials you need, but unless you have large rooms dedicated to your specific needs, try to keep setups minimal. This is still your home, after all, and at the end of the work and school day, you need to enjoy your home as a home. As well as keeping materials at a minimum, make sure you have proper storage and that it’s used every day. At the end of each work and school day, everyone needs to be responsible for cleaning up their area if possible, especially if your space has moved into areas such as the kitchen, dining area, or family room.

One of the benefits of working from home is that there’s often more freedom with your schedule. You probably know when you’re most productive, so try to make sure you have dedicated time to work then without interruptions. The same goes with your children. Depending on how their schooling system is set up, try to get them focused during the times when you know they are most receptive. Hopefully there are enough times when you can all be free to work when you’re at your best. If you all have a tendency to slack at similar times, make the most of it and go for a walk as a family or chill out together on the sofa and read or watch something for the whole family. Understanding your best times and your limits is important in this new environment.

If you’re finding space to be an issue, now really is a great time to consider purchasing one of the new homes in Grand Forks. We have a variety of home designs that can help you find the right layout for your needs, and with mortgage interest rates as low as they are, it may be worthwhile to make the investment in a new home and in your family. Contact us today to help you find the home that best fits your family.

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This post was written by Crary Real Estate

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