- by Don
Hey, you’re out there, working from your RV, so you can avoid childcare expenses and keep an eye on your kids while you work, right?
Honestly, no. In fact, I’m not sure which misperception is worse with that statement: the perception of remote work, or the perception of childcare.
The reality is—assuming we can agree that good childcare means more than handing your child an iPad and ignoring her for hours on end—providing childcare requires focus and interaction with the kids.
And working requires focus on your work. After all, the key word in “remote work” is work!
Childcare and remote work don't mix as well as you'd think
So doing both is difficult, if not impossible. Trying to focus on your work while simultaneously focusing on your kids, is a recipe for disaster, as illustrated in this example from a TIAA CREF commercial. In this commercial, a father is calling into a conference call for his work while attempting to watch his children. Like most children, they are playing and demanding their father’s attention with their toys, disrupting the call and the father’s concentration.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with TIAA and am not recommending them. I’m simply sharing their humorous commercial.
If you won't take your kids into work, what makes you think you'll be productive if you're caring for them and working at home?
After all, would you take your kids into the office every day instead of finding childcare? So why is it any different with your remote work and office?
One of the first jobs I knew of that offered telecommuting opportunities was with BellSouth, which at the time was our local phone company. I remember one of the requirements for that particular telecommuting perk was that if you had children, you were required to have childcare arrangements outside of the home. Perhaps, in addition to ensuring employees are focused on work when they are working at home, employers like BellSouth wish to prevent disasters like the (now viral) video of a BBC interview. Professor Kelly’s wife was watching the kids, but in a split second they managed to get away and interrupt his interview:
Have a gameplan for childcare when you work remotely, especially for RV living
It’s easy to think that your spouse will handle childcare while you work. But have you really thought through what that may look like?
What will your spouse and children do while you work? Will they be happy sitting around waiting for you to finish your work? Or will they want to go out and see some of the sites in the local area?
And would you be OK missing out on what they see and do? Or will you be tempted to ditch your work and go out with them? And if you do that, when will your work get done? Again, it is a good idea to ensure you have a routine in place. Communicate with your spouse on what kind of lifestyle you wish to have, and how it can be implemented based on your current situation.
There’s no hard-and-fast formula for navigating this situation. I can only suggest you have some deep conversations with your spouse and children so that you have a plan and everyone is onboard.With proper planning, you can have the time you need to do focused work.If you need assistance piecing together a system that you, your spouse, and children can be happy with in pursuit of an RV lifestyle, schedule a call with me and let’s see how I can help!
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