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Working from home with kids: A survival guide for parents

Here at Oracle we truly appreciate the amazing balancing act all of our working moms and dads are doing right now. We want to put a spotlight on their incredible efforts—and share real-life tips for parents everywhere who are doing their best to embrace the new normal.

Be flexible

Multitasking is an essential survival tool for parents! So don’t feel bad if you have to put work down to focus on a more pressing family matter. Learn to roll with the punches and be productive in the time you’re free.

“Changing a diaper in between Zoom calls is no longer out of the ordinary! Now that I know my focus can be interrupted at any given time, I’m more efficient and solve requests quicker. I expect to do shorter bursts of more focused work. During the other times, I just stay mobile. I can do most of my tasks on my iPhone if I need to.”

Petrisor - Social Media Communication Manager, Bucharest

Make a system for “quick questions”

It’s natural that children will want to pepper you with questions about schoolwork throughout the day—the key is to put a process in place whereby you can oversee your children’s work, while still having time to do your own.

“My wife and I have two boys, 9 and 11. We gave each of them a whiteboard and marker where they can write down their “quick questions” and then established a couple times during the day for check-ins (10am, lunchtime, and 2pm). This gives them a way to keep from getting stuck on a question.”

Brad - Director, People and Cultural Transformation, US

Establish a family routine

Children thrive on routine. It helps to keep a regular schedule so they can maintain a sense of normality amid all the change that’s happening.

“We've set up a daily home-school schedule to try keep things as normal as possible for the kids. Everyone eats breakfast and changes out of their pyjamas as usual, then at 8:30am we ring the school bell (a chime on my phone) and start the day.”

Leor - Director, Technical Program, Recruiting, US

Help your kids understand what you do

Take this opportunity to explain to your kids what you do at work. It’ll help them appreciate why you need quiet time to complete your tasks.

 “Young children are very curious, and explaining what parents do at work can be interesting and fun for them. They always ask me who my next meeting is with or what the presentation I have on screen is about.”

Felipe - Sales Programs Senior Manager, Colombia

Find the silver linings

From avoiding long commutes to spending more time with our loved ones, working from home has lots of upsides.

“Take the time to appreciate the little unexpected surprises that come out of tough circumstances: Camping in our living room (complete with s’mores!) have been a highlight for us. Thanks to all our walks around the neighbourhood, our first grader has made great progress learning to ride the scooter. It also turns out that Dad is quite the gourmet chef when it comes to homemade lunches!”

Leor Chechik - Director, Technical Program, Recruiting, US

Make time for yourself

Your mental health is instrumental to your family’s wellbeing. We know it might be difficult to set time aside for yourself right now, but it will give you more energy for your work and family in the long run.

“On Fridays at 5:30 I have a Zoom call with a group of five girlfriends from college. It helps to end the week with comradery and a good laugh…which has been fantastic and NEVER would have happened prior to the pandemic.”

Bonnie - Program Manager, Global Executive Sponsorship, US


Banish boredom

Keeping your kids physically active and mentally engaged is key. Lead by example by taking time to stretch every day. If they’re older, why not suggest they improve their computer skills with this fun and free online training? If they’re younger, ask them to color our free, printable Oracle coloring book. They’re sure to love the idea of working along-side their colleagues Mom and Dad!

“We schedule “PE class” every day for the kids. There are wonderful workouts and yoga sessions for kids available online —make sure Mom and Dad join in too and get a good break away from their screen during their day.”

Leor Chechik - Director, Technical Program, Recruiting, US

Give back to your community

When so many things are outside of our control, virtual volunteering can help you feel like you’re doing something that really makes a difference.

“I find that volunteering helps alleviate stress and give me a purpose, especially at a time like this. Sew facemasks, teach online, or find some meaningful way to donate your time. I used my development skills to build an online learning platform for disadvantaged schools.”

Mohamad - Principal Sales Consultant, Indonesia

Be kind to yourself—and others

It’s important to remember that you’re not just working from home, you’re working from home during a global crisis. Everyone copes in different ways. Go easy on yourself, your family, and the people you work with.

“Give yourself grace and remember that this too shall pass. It’s easy to feel like you’re failing, or like you can’t give your full self to your family or your work. I stay sane with strong support and guidance from my leadership, colleagues, husband, and friends. It truly takes a village.”

Amber - Solution Engineer, US

Oracle wants to say a big thank you to all the working moms and dads who are doing their best right now. We see you!

Join the discussion

Comments ( 2 )
  • Bonnie Carlson Tuesday, May 12, 2020
    Thanks for the shout out, Oracle!
  • Rugvedita Shelar Monday, June 22, 2020
    This is a wonderful article. It speaks so much about Oracle not just as a company but the culture they have built for their employees around the globe. As an HR professional I know how much it takes for a company to be upfront and support not just their employees but also their families in such crisis. From being concerned about their kids, employees physical and mental health, work routine. You are walking the talk. Way to go. Kudos to the team 👏🏻👍🏻
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