Working from home is much more commonplace in the post-pandemic world. Having a nanny while working from home can have some wonderful advantages, but can present challenges as well. Parents, here are 10 tips to create a positive work environment for your nanny while also being comfortable and productive in your house and home office.
Comfortably Work From Home
- Try to create an office space that is away from where the children will most often be playing. This way you won’t always have to be warning the nanny when you have an important meeting that requires quiet. If the playroom is in the basement, having your office upstairs can be a great solution.
- Invest in noise cancelling headphones for when you really need to focus. You understandably want quiet, but your little one doesn’t quite understand how to use a soft voice and is just exploring life.
- Make sure you have a door on your work from home office and tell your children when it is closed that they cannot come in. This is a rule your nanny will need to enforce too. Perhaps you can have a sign on your work door that says if you are in a meeting.
Communication is Key!
- Parents, be upfront about your expectations. Perhaps you have a weekly meeting with your boss, so you ask your nanny to schedule gymnastics during that time or go to the library. Communication is key and can help both you and your nanny plan proactively.
- Children need to see that you and your nanny trust and respect each other. If you disagree with something that your nanny says, ask to talk about it at the end of the day, but never in front of the kids.
- Check in with your nanny on a bi-weekly basis to make sure they have the opportunity to share any concerns. Share your comments as well, both positive and negative. It is better to discuss frustrations in a respectful and constructive way rather than letting them build up. When working from home you need to both figure out how to co-exist and do what is best for the children.
While the Nanny is on the Clock
- Children know their audience and often know what they can get away with in different company. Be sure that you set clear expectations around your preferences and have open communication with your nanny about what is and is not acceptable. Having too many authority figures in a room can be confusing. Let your nanny know while she is on the clock, she is in charge. This will be helpful when your child comes to you asking for something. You can easily say, “You need to go ask Tanya, she is in charge right now. I’m working.”
- Letting your nanny know if you are going to join them for an activity or even if you will sit down for lunch with the kids allows the nanny to prepare your child for what to expect. When the nanny is in a groove or has a plan for the afternoon, it is helpful to know ahead of time.
Coming and Going
- You are your child’s favorite person, so it is understandably hard on them when you enter the room and then leave again. This can be even more difficult for a child who is learning object permanence or going through separation anxiety. Try to hold back on saying hi to your child every time you take a break from work.
- Hearing your child cry is hard when you aren’t able to comfort him. When hiring a nanny, you are putting your trust in them to care for your child in the same way you would. If you are working, hear a bang, and then crying; try not to run out and see what happened. Give the nanny time to handle the situation. You can text her and ask if everything is okay, but entering the room may only lead to more tears when you then have to go back to work.
To build a strong and successful relationship with your nanny, you just need to remember that communication is key! Have a conversation upon hiring so there are no uncertainties when you are working from home. Remember that showing respect for one another is important for your children to see and makes for a positive workplace and a long-lasting relationship.
About The Author
Kelsey Dickson has over 15 years of experience working with children as a nanny, preschool teacher, and now a mother. She has her degree in Early Childhood Education and is a Certified Potty Training Expert. At Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny she is the eLearning and Social Media Manager. Check out our online childcare classes, such as Baby Sign Language and Sleep Coaching 101! In her free time she enjoys gardening with her children, going for walks with her family, and discovering local wineries in New England.