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(85 Posts)
madcatladyforever Tue 29-Sep-20 22:53:26

Seriously though, how the hell do people with families work from home? I only did it for 2 days while I was recovering from some minor surgery - I work in the NHS so normally go in.
Every darned meeting I had the cat was either wailing outside the door or sitting on my lap saying cheese for the camera.
What do you do with your small kids/husband. How do you block out the noise, how is it even possible?

OP’s posts: |
chillied Tue 29-Sep-20 22:57:21

I don't have a cat. I have a room I can work in that isn't a communal room, I shut the door. I'm not in charge of the kids when I work. I guess these are the necessary ingredients to make it work! No commute is excellent...

chillied Tue 29-Sep-20 22:58:04

love the idea of the cat saying cheese for the camera tho!

wheresmymojo Tue 29-Sep-20 23:01:38

I'm a career coach and all of my clients are online as they're all across the UK.

They're now used to the fact that all of our sessions take place with a cat hanging around my neck like a baby koala.

toastfiend Tue 29-Sep-20 23:36:10

I work from home full-time anyway. It was much harder with DS and DH at home during lockdown earlier in the year, as DH and I were both meant to be working and toddler DS was crashing around causing havoc. We bought a ball pool and basically crated a mini soft play/toy circuit on our landing. Meant our house looked like a clown had thrown up all over it for months, and walking around upstairs was hazardous, but we could usually get an hour or two of work done at the same time in the morning whilst supervising DS as the landing was in between our two "offices" (glorified spare rooms). Then DH would tap in for lunch time and put DS down for his nap whilst I carried on, DS would usually nap for 2 hours, then I'd take him for the afternoon whilst DH worked, and we'd both catch up in the evening. It was stressful, though.

Now nursery is open again, DS goes to nursery on my work days and DH is in work, so it's pretty easy. I have my own study, which I shut the door to, I don't have cats and the dogs aren't allowed upstairs. DH knows if the door is shut not to come in or bother me (after he burst through the door, shirtless, during an important Zoom meeting I was on). If I've got to catch up with anything when everyone is home then I either out ear phones in or put my radio on to drown out any disruptive noise. Mostly, though, I just tune it out, knowing that I might have to appear is DS is insistent he needs me.

toastfiend Tue 29-Sep-20 23:38:51

I'll caveat all this with the fact that I have a great boss and colleagues who are very accepting of family background (and sometimes no-so-background) noise as we all work from home and all have our respective rackets going on at times. I also have the ability to work incredibly flexibly, so I'm in a very fortunate position compared to many. I can't imagine the stress of trying to work from home with families present if you don't work in that kind of flexible, friendly environment.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 29-Sep-20 23:47:52

If you're WFH in normal times, you don't do it at the same time as being responsible for small kids. I've done it for 25 years; when I had DD we had nanny, and then when she started school I dropped my hours so I wasn't working when she was home.
I'm not that often in meetings where I can't be muted so the dog and DH aren't a problem - an occasional interjection from the dog isn't a problem. If necessary I shut the office door.

How people are managing it at the moment, thrown into it with kids at home and probably no defined office space I don't know. They have my sincere admiration and sympathy.

BarbaraofSeville Wed 30-Sep-20 07:18:57


love the idea of the cat saying cheese for the camera tho!

Mine alternate between putting their faces right up to the screen and stamping all over the keyboard and turning round so they can show off their nice clean bottom to whoever I am talking to.

The keyboard stamping often leads to the settings being changed to tiny or massive text or loss of buttons but fortunately they've never deleted anything important or emailed crap to anyone.

If they get really disruptive they get shut in another room.

Sohardtochooseausername Wed 30-Sep-20 07:22:26

It was completely awful when The schools were closed and DD was home all the time. I am single parent and it was relentless trying to work full time from home and entertain her. She became very good at entertaining herself and I felt guilty the whole time. Now she’s back at school it’s much better productivity and guilt-wise but I am so lonely! You can’t win.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Wed 30-Sep-20 07:23:10

I have a room I shut myself away in (and I wear headphones and play music loudly to drown out the kids and husband).

On the days when dh is working and I'm WFH with the kids I just nip between desk and kids as emails/calls come. If a kid wanders in then so be it.

Sohardtochooseausername Wed 30-Sep-20 07:23:38

Oh yeah and I see a lot more of the cat. He’s mostly fine, apart from when he sat on my laptop and somehow re-set it to factory settings and the voice screen reader!

Deathraystare Wed 30-Sep-20 07:25:25

Mine alternate between putting their faces right up to the screen and stamping all over the keyboard and turning round so they can show off their nice clean bottom to whoever I am talking to.

Well of course it is all about the cats. The meetings are really for them, the people talk to you under sufferance!

trilbydoll Wed 30-Sep-20 07:28:39

We did split shifts for half a day uninterrupted during lockdown (DH 6am-10am, me 9.30ish to 1.30ish) dc are 5 and 7 so old enough to watch a LOT of TV while we both worked in the afternoon. I was fairly unapologetic about interruptions, we were doing our best in unprecedented circumstances grin definitely more productive now everyone is where they are meant to be though!

TeaOneSugar Wed 30-Sep-20 07:32:52

Thankfully my employer has been very clear that background noises are unavoidable and to be accepted, now dc are generally back in school, nursery etc. it's mainly cats and dogs and the odd DH/DW in the background. I'm lucky I have a spare bedroom I've put a desk in lots of people are still working from kitchen tables and dressing tables. I usually start work early and finish early and avoid calls later in the afternoon if possible so I'm available when DD gets back from school, doesn't always work.

TwoLeftSocksWithHoles Wed 30-Sep-20 07:42:22

If you've got a talking cat I suggest you pack in your current job and put it on-line.

Remember 'Grumpy Cat' ? Apparently she earnt her owners millions.

You will need to teach your cat some more words to be a really money-spinner. I think 'sausages' would be a good second word. grin

SueEllenMishke Wed 30-Sep-20 07:45:48

When the schools were closed it was one of the most stressful times of my life.
Now schools are open it's much better.

TheOrigBrave Wed 30-Sep-20 07:46:11

Single parent here. During lockdown and when schools were closed it was hideous. I don't have a cat!

DelurkingAJ Wed 30-Sep-20 07:46:28

It was frankly awful when we were both WFH FT and the DC had no childcare. Tag teaming and then working until midnight to catch up. DC went slightly feral and had too much screen time. Now I’m lonely but I have space. Everyone accepts that the cats join us sometimes. I’m lucky in that I have a proper desk but it’s in an alcove on the landing so I can’t shut the door. Work have been very clear that we should never apologise for DC or animals given none of us ever asked for this!

Unescorted Wed 30-Sep-20 07:48:10

I am set up in the kitchen - I just ignore all the chaos going on around me. It helps that before wfh I had years of working in a large open plan office with no fixed desk and a large number of meetings happening via Teams. Interruptions are expected and happen - we all just carry on in the same way that if a colleague in the office leans into shot to ask if you want a cup of tea. All that has changed is that we have a wider range of random queries... what is for dinner, where PE kit has been left,

KatherineJaneway Wed 30-Sep-20 07:48:39

My cats scream and claw if shut out so they are allowed in. They have made several 'appearances' but everyone either says 'Aww how lovely' or laugh and we just get on with it.

migmogmash Wed 30-Sep-20 07:54:21

My cat joins every teams meeting I do at some point...luckily my colleagues love her. Am also NHS, we're quite a relaxed team and have an understanding that people are likely to have more going on when wfh. We've had dogs, hamsters, babies etc all join us at varying points.

I've been in my role 5yrs and never thought I'd end up doing some shifts from home- I think we just have to do the best we can, I hope your colleagues are as understanding as mine are.

PurplePansy05 Wed 30-Sep-20 07:54:25

One of my cats makes regular appearance at our teams calls, everyone knows her now and they always chat to her 😂

cantthinkofanythingwitty Wed 30-Sep-20 07:58:25

I hear you. I had to teach sixth form lessons with a dog sat on my lap

ivfbeenbusy Wed 30-Sep-20 08:04:56

I WFH for 4 months with a 4 year old until the schools reopened. But mine is very good - a dream really - she'd happily play by herself for a couple of hours, do puzzles or drawing or watch a film on TV, I'd take regular breaks to sit with her and read a book or something. I'd generally work at the kitchen table in the morning and then in the afternoon work from the lounge so I could at least spend time with her.
The cats on the other hand are no where near as well behaved 🤣🤣

Glenthebattleostrich Wed 30-Sep-20 08:07:00

We've reorganised the house, got rid of the spare room and turned it into an office / craft room. We have stuck a sofa bed in there too for the occasional visitor (or Will be when funds allow and we are due visits!). I work from home as a childminder anyway so my husband has to contend with the noise from my setting.

We have had to move the dogs bed out though as she likes to wait until DH is on a video call then be a bit overly friendly with it 😂😳

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