Perhaps you left your cubicle and a full-time position for a work-from-home job when you had kids. Though you may love spending time with them and enjoy having a more flexible schedule, it can be difficult to get work done if your office isn’t child-friendly. You can’t just lock the door and expect your kids not to want to come inside, or you may need to be constantly watching your baby or toddler to ensure he or she is safe.
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To solve this problem, you can make your office child-friendly for kids of any age. That way, you can watch your kids when you’re home to ensure they’re happy and secure, and they can feel comfortable knowing you’re right there when they need you.
To get started, here are five ways to ensure that your home office is a welcoming and safe space for your children.
1. Install Electrical Outlet Covers
If you have kids under the age of six, you’ll need to take precautions when it comes to your electrical outlets. This means buying a pack of electrical outlet covers. In your office, you’ll be using the plugs frequently for all your electrical devices, so make sure the covers are easy for you to remove when necessary. If an electrical cover is too difficult to take off, you may not want to put it back on because it’s such a hassle.
2. Get a Plush Rug
Is your office outfitted with hardwood floors? While they may look beautiful, they can seriously injure children if they fall off a chair, couch or another surface that’s high off the ground. Instead of spending tons of money on carpeting the entire space, buy a plush rug instead.
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Wool rugs are a great choice because they are not only cozy, but they serve as great insulators for cold rooms in the fall and winter months. They’re also stain-repellant and durable enough for high traffic areas—plus they help block out noise. Look for a wool rug in a darker color so you can hide any dirt that may be left behind by your children.
3. Use a Video Baby Monitor
You may not want to keep a crib in your office, or there may just not be enough room. However, you do need to keep tabs on your newborn throughout your workday. Instead of putting more furniture in your space, try a baby monitor with a screen that will live stream your baby as he or she sleeps. When shopping, look for a baby monitor with night vision if you typically work when it’s dark outside.
4. Place a Rocking Chair in the Room
If you have a newborn or an infant, you’ll need to feed your baby before naps and bedtime. You may also want to hold your baby when you’re not busy. Keep a rocking chair in your office so that you don’t have to leave your workstation to soothe your child to sleep. Since you’re near your computer, you can also easily play some soothing lullabies to calm down your baby.
5. Install an Internet Filter
If your kids are older and know how to access the computer, you’ll need to put a filter on your internet browser. They can easily jump on your computer for a few minutes while you’re cooking breakfast, in the bathroom or signing for a package, and they may see something you don’t want them to.
>> RELATED: How to Make Your Home Office as Safe as Possible
There are many different childproofing software options for Windows and Mac operating systems. One is Symantec Norton Family Premier, which reports internet activity in real time and provides filtering and access scheduling. Other programs even do social network monitoring and allow you to control them from a remote location.
For your phone, there’s Net Nanny, which works on Android devices and blocks any adult content from your child. If you’re an iPhone user, you can check out OurPact, which restricts access at certain times, blocks distracting apps like Facebook and Snapchat, turns off children’s apps and schedules internet usage for your kids so you can be there to watch over them. As an added level of protection, make sure you password-protect your computer and your phone.
By constructing a child-friendly space for yourself and your family, you can be productive and monitor your kids at the same time. It’s the best of both worlds for a work-from-home parent.
About the Author:
Kylie Ora Lobell writes on small business and home office topics for the Home Decorators Collection of Home Depot. Kylie’s child-friendly decor ideas for the home office are designed to carry the comfort of your home into your home workspace. To review a large selection of area rugs designs available as part of a home office makeover, you can visit the Home Decorators website.
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