Some tips for nannies who work with employers in home office
Since last year’s health situation, I often find myself interviewing nannies who work with one of the parents in home office. So I often ask them how they have adapted their way of working.
For many nannies, it’s quite an adjustment to have one of their employers at home all day. From these interviews, different ways that families and nannies can work together successfully came out.
Below are some common scenarios that we recommend you discuss with your employer:
Define/redefine your role as nanny when parents are home.
Create separate spaces for children and parents
Agree on discipline
Establish a schedule/routine
Working from home with a parent who also works from home may require more give and take on the issue of control. It will be important for you and your employer to have a conversation about how involved he or she wants to be during the day.
I truly believe that no parent is going to ask what a nanny does all day now that they are also home all day with their children. But if a parent is wondering what they did, maybe it’s time to implement a logbook. In this notebook, nannies can share with parents everything that happened during the day.
It is very important to set physical boundaries. Especially for children who are not used to having their parents home during the day.
Also, if a parent’s workspace is physically close to the children’s space, it may be a good idea to purchase a noise-cancelling device. Hearing a parent’s voice can be a trigger and distraction for children.
Have a plan if tantrums seem to be the order of the day. Discuss how the nanny and parents can be on the same page when it comes to managing a restless toddler. It is well known that children behave differently, if not better, with their nanny than with their parents.
It is important to be aligned on how to behave. When everyone is on the same page, whether it’s nap time, response to tantrums, food, screen time or discipline, collaboration (but also separation) can run like clockwork. How you do it has a lot to do with communication.
It’s important to identify the times that are important to the working parent from home and the times that are more disruptive to the nanny’s work. If a parent likes to have lunch with the children, this can work. If the mom likes to feed the baby, she can move around and let her do it. If a parent prefers to be present after nap time, then that time is theirs.
Likewise, you need to communicate when it would be best for parents to stay away. Schedules are important things to have in place. Not to mention that a consistent routine or rhythm throughout the day is beneficial for children.
Everyone needs respect when doing their job, especially now. It’s not easy to keep your emotions in check. This is a really stressful time for everyone. Kids are stressed, yet they certainly can’t all express how they feel. Try having formal weekly meetings where everyone can voice their concerns or make suggestions.
And let’s look at the bright side of this situation. Parents have valuable time with their children that they would not normally have. Valuable but also sometimes stressful or particularly stressful depending on the day!
If you are having difficulties with your new work environment, we are here to help you and answer any specific questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to contact us!