Thousands of people who have been asked to work remotely following the COVID-19 outbreak are facing great challenges, especially when trying to balance the demands of work life and home life.

To help you stay productive and implementing an effective work-from-home set-up with your kids, here are a few tips:

Define working hours and stick to them
Make sure to define and add your team’s working hours to the Google Calendar and have all of them added. This will help your teammates schedule their work around those hours.

Clearly communicate expectations with your family
Make sure that your spouse, kids, parents, siblings or any other family members respect your space during the work hours. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re home.

Update your online status
Whether you’re using Skype, Slack or any other communication platform, make sure to turn your status to “Online” and “Available” during the defined work hours. Since it is crucial to manage expectations around responsiveness when working from home, the team leads need to be a lot more proactive than usual.

Create a dedicated workplace at home
You do not necessarily need to dedicated a separate room to work from home, although it would be the best practice if possible, you need to at least dedicate a corner of your home for WFH.

When you have kids at home
You cannot expect kids to not disturb you during the work time. Your kids may even spontaneously join you in a meeting. Just realize that it’s all good! Your coworkers might even want to wave hello to your little one(s)!

Take regular breaks
As you strictly adhere to the work hours and keep your team up and aligned, it is also important to take a short break every one to two hours and step away from the computer for a while.

Choose the best chair for yourself
Ideally, working from home requires the most comfortable and ergonomically-correct chair. When you aren’t comfortable, you can’t stay focused and you can’t stay productive.

Make use of Emojis in Conversations
Yes, you read it right. It doesn’t sound silly at all. Since you’ll be communicating without being seen, emojis will make your conversation seem positive and upbeat, and help you convey the right tone to your teammates.

Keep in mind that while you work remotely, you’ll have to communicate details with all team members to reduce mismatched expectations. Don’t assume “everyone knows this already”. Just explain every little bit rather than leaving it possibly vague.

Pretend like you are going into the office
The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost when working from home. So make sure to do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make tea/coffee, and wear nice clothes before you get started each day.