Remote work and children

Working from home means sometimes I’m working when the kids are around. This is the case after school on weekdays, on the weekend, and on school holidays. Mostly it’s not a problem at all. However I frequently have video conference calls and sometimes my kids will interrupt or there’ll be loud kid sounds in the background coming from another room. One time one of them poked the head of a puppet into the background view so that only the puppet could be seen by everyone on the call.

Another time I was chatting with my mentee and we were discussing how to find a good work/life balance when you’re a parent of young children. It happened to be school holidays and my kids were at home that day. It was about 1:30pm and Daniel came in and said, “Mum, you still haven’t given me lunch  yet”. It was a not a good look.

One of my coworkers shared this live BBC interview with me. It makes me thankful that none of my calls are broadcast live to the masses. Poor guy.

12 responses to “Remote work and children”

  1. I relate to this!

    I found it challenging to live chat with son at home during the last Christmas holidays. Now I am chatting from 5-7 9-11 and 12-2. Still a problem during school holidays, but for now, it is working well.

    And the poor guy in the video. Lol. I do that during my team hangouts. Although, I am on a standing desk and the son is not yet that tall to be seen by the laptop camera. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Live chat with kids around is particularly challenging. I salute you!

      I have a standing desk too and it definitely helps 🙂

  2. I saw this on CBC news this morning. It is getting a lot of air time, and is something we can all relate to, even us work-from-home Dads. When I worked from home my kids were young adults, and there interruptions were even more demanding, and could never wait regardless of what Dad may have been doing.

    1. I see it has gone viral and the entire planet will have watched it by the end of today 🙂

      When I worked from home my kids were young adults, and there interruptions were even more demanding, and could never wait regardless of what Dad may have been doing.

      I thought I only had another few years of these kinds of interruptions 😦

  3. When the Baby comes in in that baby-walker, I cracked up! 😀
    Then the child-carer trying to crawl on the floor out of sight! 😀

    1. I think the child-carer is his wife. Ben thought it was his wife because the kids look half Korean and then I read online someone that it was his wife. It’s her hand reaching out to close the door at the very end that cracks me up 🙂

  4. I love when your kids interrupt – it highlights an aspect of automattic that I really enjoy in that you’re at home with your family living your life. It’s easy to get sucked into just your computer and when real life bleeds through I find it refreshing. I’ll never forget the time one of your kids stood on the couch and just fell flat backwards. I didn’t realize they were falling back into the couch so I thought they had just straight up fallen down and slightly panicked. Still gives me a good laugh as I remember it.

    1. I’m so happy to hear this. I love working from home and love having the kids around even though they drive me crazy sometimes 🙂

  5. This is why I tell people who are looking for remote work not to fire the babysitter. haha

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