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Holding productive Zoom meetings from home can be a challenge, but with kids around the house, it becomes an even more insurmountable task.
Distractions from children not only make it difficult to concentrate in virtual meetings, but can also disturb the mood of a meeting. After all, it is difficult to maintain a professional atmosphere when children are making noise, playing, or climbing laps.
However, with discipline and the right approach, it is possible to minimize distractions and experience the best of both worlds; H. Working productively and spending time with family.
Related topics: How to keep your team in touch during virtual meetings
Here are some tips to help you minimize the clutter of virtual meetings.
1. Set clear boundaries
Explicit rules are the first step towards a distraction-free household. If the rules and boundaries are not clearly set, children will not know what is acceptable and what is not. These rules will be new to many families, so it is all the more important to make these new boundaries as clear as possible.
A good place to start is with "quiet time" rules, which prevent loud hissing during phone calls, video conferencing, and other work tasks. However, as most parents know, setting rules is only the first step. Next we need to make sure that children follow them.
2. Create incentives
Incentives are a great way to earn collaboration, which is why they are so widely used in both home and work. For example, by rewarding children for following rules, you can ensure that those rules actually produce the desired result.
Parenting styles differ, of course, and some may prefer negative incentives. For example, restrictions on phone time or video games can also be a great way to maintain good behavior.
3. Distract the children
Another great way to minimize distractions from kids is to use preventative distraction. Some distractions, like watching TV or playing video games, are likely to keep children busy. However, fun activities like this tend to be unproductive as most parents refuse to let their children spend hours a day on social media to ensure a quiet home office.
However, when these activities are used as an incentive to other good behavior, it is possible to keep children busy with more productive work such as homework or housework.
4. Create habits and stick to a routine
Without structure, it can be difficult to stay focused and focus. This can be a big problem for those of us who work from home. Without a daily routine and consistent habits, it's harder to stay focused. This lack of structure affects not only their ability to concentrate, but also the children's ability to stay at work.
Applying a set structure to the entire household – like work plans for the parents and study plans for the kids – can be a great way to keep the entire house in sync and productive.
5. Use noise-canceling headphones during meetings
Calm timing rules can help keep kids from distracting other participants in a virtual meeting, but they're not always enough. For those who are easily distracted and don't want to compromise their children's playfulness, noise-canceling headphones can be a great way to reduce outside distractions. They're not always a great option for parents who need to keep an ear or eye on their kids all day, but they can be very useful at meetings when keeping up-to-date is important.
Headphones, as well as the other tips mentioned here, are only part of an overall strategy for separating work and personal life. This separation is key to staying disciplined and productive.
6. Separate the work area from the rest of the house
There are several ways to avoid having personal life on display when hosting a meeting.
One is to create a dedicated home office or workspace that is separate from the rest of the home. This means maintaining a work area with work materials, appropriate decor and a professional atmosphere.
This separation helps train the mind to stay in work mode, but it also looks more professional than having a meeting in the living room with kids in the background.
Related: 25 Ways to Make Your Zoom Meetings Great!
7. Dress professionally
Professional clothing and a professional work environment go hand in hand. Both aspects help to create a separation between work and private life and convey a more professional appearance in online meetings. Like the other techniques discussed here, they can serve as cues to help children grasp these new work-life boundaries.
Over time, business attire can become a sign that quiet time rules apply and that parents must not be disturbed.
8. Spend more time with the children
If children need more attention than they get, they can also seek it out in virtual meetings. It is therefore important to spend as much time with the children as possible. This means completely withdrawing from work and devoting time to family-related activities. The reason is simple: Blurred boundaries between private and work life affect the quality of both.
9. Turn off social media, cell phones, and email
Another common tactic for staying focused is turning off digital distractions, including TV, cell phones, email, and social media. In Zoom meetings, it's easier to change this rule because we're not in the middle of a conference room under the watchful eye of our staff. However, it is best to avoid this temptation as it affects our focus and ultimately the quality of the meeting.
In cases where kids need to be in the same room, it's also a good idea to turn them off, or at least silence their media distractions.
10. Evaluate performance and adjust it regularly
For many of us, working from home is a brand new experience. It's in the works. Getting it right takes time and experimentation. Experienced remote workers know this, which is why many of them analyze their own productivity and view their own performance through the eyes of a manager.
Time logs, work metrics, and similar tools provide insight into what is working, what is not, and why.
Bottom line: To stay productive during Zoom meetings, especially when kids are around, you often need to use a variety of techniques to maintain focus, minimize distractions, and separate work from personal life.