As schools across the UK and other parts of the world are closing, it might not be long before Kiwi schools follow suit, leaving working parents with the challenge of looking after their kids while working from home.

If the thought of having to juggle emails and conference calls with energetic little ones running around fills you with dread, you're not alone. Speaking to the Daily Mail Online, several experts have shared their tips on parenting and remote working to help make the situation less stressful.

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Get them exercising

Founder of Talented Ladies Club Hannah Martin says it's a good idea to wear the kids out in the morning to get yourself some uninterrupted work time.


"If you can safely take them outside – to the park, the countryside or your garden – for exercise and fresh air, do.

"If not, get them doing some indoor exercises. You can then let them switch off in front of the TV/their screens for a while while you get some work done."

Divide your day into two blocks

Founder of Facebook group Women at Work Caroline Strachan recommends splitting your day into two blocks to help compartmentalise your day.

"Create a rota that splits the day across two parents or helpers into two uninterrupted blocks e.g. early start to lunch and then post lunch to evening.

"My husband and I for instance, I'll work 6am to midday and he can take the 1pm to 7pm shift. If this isn't possible break the day into 2 hour sections to help you focus and swap focus."

Planning the day helps kids know what to expect, she says.

"Kids respond well to the structure of school, that you can recreate together at home. Do this with your kids. School will likely provide you with a timetable, first task is to turn that into a poster they can stick up.

'We plan to keep play times too, morning and afternoon ideally outside and for lunch play we're organising a zoom virtual play with their school friends."

Have your own workspace

"Create a work area at home and ensure your children understand that's a do not disturb zone (even if this needs to be your bedroom)," says Strachan,


"In our house we have a sign on the door, 'mummy is working', that gets put up during any important calls so they know then isn't the time to practise their school concert.

"If you don't have an office space, I urge you to create one, even if its with a camping table in the bedroom. Keep a separate space."

And it's important to be kind to yourself as a worker and as a parent, she says.

"Don't try to work at the same output rate. Most of your clients and colleagues are in the same situation and will understand. A dog barking during a conference call, a child walking in on a video call that's all OK, I bet your colleagues/clients will enjoy a wave to your kids. Look at your priorities and focus on what matters most, if you need help don't be afraid to ask.

"Now's not the time to be holding yourself to the highest of no-screen time parenting standards! There will be good days and terrible, sell the kids on E-bay days. You've got this."

Stick to your routine

Personal trainer and fitness expert Badrul Islam says it's important to keep up your regular morning routine.

"You should get up, shower and have breakfast with your family at your usual time. Don't be tempted to lounge around all day in your PJs, save that for the weekend."

Instead, get the kids exercising, even if they're stuck indoors.

"Put the music on and grab a can of baked beans for some light weight exercises. To increase the heart rate, get the children to run up and down the stairs. Remember not to hold your breath when you're exercising and keep a bottle of water handy."

Try out some family meditation

Award-winning parenting author Angela Spencer says now is the perfect time to take up mindfulness as a family.

"Relationships are going to be tested and being able to remain calm is going to be a welcome string to every parents bow."