Working From Home With Kids: The Ultimate Survival Guide

Working from home with kids is hard. I’ve been there. It takes a lot of patience and organization, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you have to do. 

It can be a challenge to stay on top of emails and assignments while also making sure your kids are well taken care of. But if you find yourself working from home with children, here are my best tips for getting through the day:

Tips for Working at Home with Kids Around And Surviving!
Working from home with kids can be challenging but also rewarding.
It’s important to create a designated workspace that is separate from your living areas.
Establishing a flexible routine can help you balance work and family duties.
Setting boundaries and communicating your needs clearly can help you maintain productivity and avoid burnout.
Utilizing time management techniques, such as time-blocking or the Pomodoro Technique, can help you stay focused and productive.

1. Good Sleep is Vital

It’s vital to get enough quality sleep. The average adult needs 8 hours of sleep a night, and your body will know if you’re not getting enough. 

Sleep deprivation has been found to affect your brain in the same way as alcohol intoxication or blood loss, making it harder for you to focus and make decisions. It also affects things like memory, decision-making skills and creativity and that’s just the short term effects!

In addition to being tired all the time (which is no fun) lack of sleep can lead to weight gain (because we don’t have enough energy for exercise), poor immune function (meaning more colds) and even depression a serious health condition that some people struggle with their entire lives but which can be treated effectively when symptoms are caught early on.

If you’ve ever worked from home before you’ll know how hard it is to get out of bed when there aren’t any colleagues wandering around with cups of coffee or meetings waiting outside your door; especially if your kids are still snuggled up beside you!

Creating a productive work environment is crucial when working from home with kids. Check out our guide on how to create a productive work environment at home with kids to get some tips and tricks to transform your home into a productive workspace.

2. Be Honest About Your Limits

If you’re working from home with kids, it’s important to be honest about your limits. If a coworker asks you to drop everything and meet them at the beach on Saturday morning and your kid has a playdate that day, tell them no. 

Or if they want to hang out in the office late on Friday night and there’s a school project due that weekend, decline their offer if it would directly interfere with something important.

Working remote can be rewarding and challenging! It depends on how much support you have from management (or yourself). 

Do not feel bad about asking for help; being a parent is hard enough without being expected to do it alone all day long (even though many parents do just that).

Honesty About Your Limits

Honesty LimitDescription
Personal prioritiesBe open with your employer about your personal priorities and limitations. Tools like Asana and Trello can help you track your work and stay on top of personal tasks.
Time managementUtilize time management tools and techniques like RescueTime and Todoist to help manage your time and set realistic goals.
Workload capacityBe honest with yourself and your team about your workload capacity. Tools like and Jira can help teams understand each other’s workload and capacity.
Child care responsibilitiesCommunicate openly with your employer about your child care responsibilities and establish a flexible routine. Tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected with your team and work collaboratively.
Mental health and wellbeingPrioritize your mental health and wellbeing, and communicate your needs with your employer. Tools like Headspace and Calm can help you maintain mindfulness and reduce stress.

3. Take Advantage of Naptime

Naptime is a great window of opportunity to get some work done while your kids are sleeping. This can be a good time to take care of chores like laundry, dishes, and tidying up the house. The key here is not to do too much during naptime you don’t want the work you’re doing to stress you out or make you feel overwhelmed when everyone wakes up!

If you have more than one child and need some help rounding them up for nap time, consider hiring someone part-time (or full-time) who can watch over them as they rest. 

It’s nice to know someone else will be there if something goes wrong and since most children sleep more soundly when they’re being watched over by someone else, it should make napping easier on everyone involved!

Staying organized is key to maintaining productivity while working from home. Utilize our tips for staying organized in your home office to keep your work materials and space in order and maximize your productivity.

4. Create a Separate Workspace

Creating a separate workspace for your kids is the best way to ensure that you can work from home with them and still have peace of mind. Kids are generally pretty good about respecting boundaries when it comes to their parents’ working lives, but having them in the same space as you can be distracting, especially if they’re loud or have lots of toys or games around. 

If possible (and affordable), try setting up an office in another room of your house even if it’s just a corner in one of the bedrooms that has been cleared out. 

If this isn’t possible, consider using headphones while working so that you don’t get distracted by sounds coming from other parts of your home.

Creating a Separate Workspace

Workspace ElementDescription
DeskCreate a designated workspace with a desk that is sized appropriately for your work and the available space. Brands such as Ikea and Wayfair offer a variety of desk options to fit different needs and styles.
ChairInvest in an ergonomic chair that can help reduce discomfort and prevent long-term physical damage. Brands such as Herman Miller and Steelcase offer high-quality ergonomic chairs that can be adjusted to fit your needs and preferences.
LightingEnsure that your workspace is well-lit to reduce eye strain and fatigue. Brands such as Philips Hue offer smart lighting solutions that can help you easily adjust the lighting as needed throughout the day.
StorageKeep your workspace clutter-free and organized with shelving or storage options such as cabinets or lockers. Brands such as The Container Store offer a variety of storage solutions to help keep your workspace tidy and functional.
Noise-cancelling headphonesIf you have children or other distractions in your home, noise-cancelling headphones can help provide a sense of privacy and focus. Brands such as Bose and Sony offer high-quality noise-cancelling headphones that can help minimize distractions.

5. Establish a Routine

Establish a routine for the whole family.

Routines help kids know what to expect in their day and can make them feel more secure as well. A good routine can help with bedtime, meal times and nap time, as well as homework time (see below).

Staying focused and motivated can be difficult when working from home, but it is crucial for sustained productivity. In our guide on staying focused and motivated while working from home, we share some techniques and best practices to help you stay on track and motivated.

6. Make Sure Kids Have Their Own Space and Entertainment

Kids need their own space to play and relax. This is especially important for kids who like to get into things, like my son. 

He has a toy room in the basement where he can play with his toys after school and when we are all home. 

I also make sure to keep plenty of books around so that he has something to do while we are working together or if he needs something quiet and relaxing to do when there is nothing else going on. 

I also have him use his computer or tablet during this time so that it doesn’t distract me from what I am doing as much as having him on my lap watching YouTube videos or playing games would!

Creating a Kid-Friendly Workspace

Kid-Friendly ElementDescription
Play areaCreate a designated play area for your kids that is separate from your workspace. Brands such as Pottery Barn offer a variety of kids’ furniture options that can help you create a kid-friendly space.
Toys and gamesKeep a variety of toys, games, and activities on hand to keep your kids entertained and occupied while you work. Brands such as Melissa & Doug and Lakeshore Learning offer a variety of high-quality and educational toys and games.
Streaming servicesSign up for a streaming service like Disney+ or Netflix to provide age-appropriate entertainment for your kids.
Art suppliesKeep a supply of art materials such as paper, markers, and crayons on hand to encourage your kids’ creativity. Brands such as Crayola offer a variety of art supplies for kids of all ages.
Educational resourcesIncorporate educational resources into your kids’ playtime such as books, puzzles, and educational games. Brands such as LeapFrog and Scholastic offer a variety of educational resources for kids of all ages.

7. Don’t Try to Multitask

You might think multitasking is the best way to get things done, but the truth is that it’s just not efficient. 

When you try to do multiple things at once, you end up losing focus and getting nothing done. Instead, take a deep breath and focus on one thing at a time. You can always switch gears later if necessary!

Time management is a vital skill when working from home, especially when balancing work with parenting. Check out our 12 simple time management strategies for increased productivity to learn how to prioritize tasks, manage your schedule, and make the most of your time.

8. Get Help When You Need It

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of working from home with kids, don’t be afraid to hire some help. There are plenty of ways to get assistance around the house without breaking the bank:

Hire a babysitter. If your child is older and has friends who can come over and keep them occupied while you work, hiring one more person isn’t so bad; they might even enjoy the break from their usual routine!

Hire a nanny or au pair for afternoons. If your schedule gets busy during the school year or if there’s no one else around to watch your kids during those hours, hiring someone can make all the difference in whether or not you stay productive at work—and it’ll also give them an opportunity to spend time with other children their age outside of school hours.

Hire a housekeeper or cleaning service on occasion (or regularly). Having someone come in once a week or so may sound like overkill for some people living alone who don’t have kids… but when it comes down done to actually getting things done at home (like laundry), having someone else handle it will make all the difference when it comes time for bedtime routines and putting everyone down at night!

9. Exercise in the Mornings or Evenings for Better Sleep

Exercise has been shown to help with sleep, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, it may be time to get moving! 

A study from Brigham Young University found that exercising at least three times a week was associated with an increase of 1 hour and 35 minutes of sleep per night. Additionally, researchers have found evidence that exercise can help you relax and fall asleep faster by calming your nervous system and helping produce more melatonin. 

In addition to improving your quality of life through better sleep, working out regularly can also lead to healthy weight loss or maintenance which is key when trying to avoid back pain while lifting children!

The Pomodoro Technique is a popular time management method that can help boost productivity. Check out our guide on the Pomodoro Technique to learn more about this technique and how to incorporate it into your work routine to increase productivity and focus.

10. Don’t Forget to Eat and Drink Water!

You’ve made it through your work day, and you still have a few hours before your kids get home from school. 

But before you sit down to finally relax and enjoy some downtime, don’t forget to hydrate yourself!

  • Drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
  • Try to keep yourself hydrated while working by drinking throughout the day. If you can set up a water bottle or refillable cup near where you work, that will help ensure that you are drinking enough fluids during the day.
  • You could also fill up one of those big office pitchers with ice and then pour in some sparkling water for an effervescent treat!

11. Set Ground Rules for Older Children with Pets or Younger Siblings at Home

If you have children, set ground rules for them. If they’re old enough to walk, they’re old enough to know what they can and cannot do while you’re working. Younger siblings should also be included in this conversation. 

For example, if your toddler is prone to throwing things around the house while you work, make sure that he or she knows that this behavior is unacceptable during business hours and not allowed in the office space (and maybe even outside of it). 

Pets may need their own set of rules as well! Do not leave pets alone with small children without supervision; small kids have been known to pull tails and tails have been known to break off with serious consequences for both parties involved.

If your kids are old enough—or if it’s just important for them to understand why Mommy needs a couple hours away from home—have an honest conversation about why Mommy is going into her office every day after lunchtime or at 5:00pm sharp when everyone else goes out for ice cream cones or has playdates at friends’ houses until dinner time arrives again (which could be anywhere between 7:00pm-8:00pm depending on who’s doing what). 

It’s okay if some days are more productive than others; just make sure that every single day starts off on a positive note by getting everyone ready together before heading out into the world together!


We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful, and we want to stress that no matter how difficult your situation is, it can get better. 

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you maximize your productivity while working from home with kids:

Your Survival Guide to Working from Home with Kids: A comprehensive guide to help you navigate the joys and challenges of working from home with kids, with tips on optimizing your schedule, managing time with children, and improving work productivity.

Working from home with kids: 18 tips from people who’ve done it successfully: A compilation of tips and advice from real people who have successfully worked from home with kids. Includes practical tips and advice, such as establishing a routine, setting boundaries, and prioritizing work tasks.

Survival Tips for Working from Home with Kids: A list of tips and survival strategies to help parents make productive use of their time while also caring for their children. Includes tips on securing support from family, maintaining work-life balance, and setting up a comfortable and productive workspace.


How can I stay productive while working from home with kids?

  • Set up a designated workspace that’s separate from your living areas and equipped with the necessary tools and equipment.
  • Establish a flexible, yet predictable routine to help organize your day and maintain a sense of structure.
  • Set boundaries with your family and communicate your needs and expectations clearly.
  • Use time-blocking techniques to manage your time and prioritize tasks.

How can I balance work and parenting responsibilities when working from home?

  • Be flexible and open to adjusting your schedule as needed to accommodate your parenting duties.
  • Communicate your parenting needs and schedule changes to your employer and colleagues.
  • Try to involve your children in your work routines when feasible, such as working during their naptimes or involving them in low-stakes work tasks.

How can I manage my time effectively while working from home with kids?

  • Use time-blocking techniques to manage your work schedule and prioritize tasks.
  • Eliminate distractions by setting strict boundaries and establishing a designated workspace.
  • Take breaks regularly to recharge and refocus.

How can I create a productive environment while working from home with kids?

  • Set up a designated workspace that’s separate from your living areas and equipped with the necessary tools and equipment.
  • Use noise-cancelling headphones or music to block out noise and distractions.
  • Establish your boundaries and communicate them clearly to your family.

How can I maintain work-life balance while working from home with kids?

  • Establish a predictable routine that prioritizes breaks and self-care activities.
  • Set boundaries between your work and personal life and communicate them clearly with your family.
  • Use tools and techniques such as time-blocking to help manage your time and balance competing priorities.