How to deal with your nanny while working from home
9 July 2021
While some companies are returning full-time to the office, an increasing number of employers are open to extending remote working policies indefinitely. With working from home a particularly attractive option for parents of young children, you may be considering hiring a nanny to help make your new home working arrangement work. Here, some practical tips to work from home with a nanny.
Agree ‘do not disturb’ signals
It might be fine for a new nanny to pop into your home office to ask a question – in fact, you probably welcome the questions as it means they are doing their job properly. It’s probably not so fine if they barge in during an important Teams call to ask where little Niamh’s constipation medicine is. A mutually agreed signal can work here. This can be as simple as: office door shut = do not disturb; door open = pop in and ask me anything.
Remember they need a break too
Be mindful that your child’s nap is your nanny’s only chance of a break during the day, so let them enjoy it. Wandering downstairs and bombarding them with 20 questions on how the morning has gone is the equivalent of trying to force a meeting with a colleague in the kitchen during their coffee break.
Give them a heads up before you break
If an unexpected 15-minutes frees up in your schedule and you decide to pop downstairs to play with the kids, try and give your nanny a ten-minute warning. They might have spent the last 20-minutes setting up an activity/quieting things down for reading time and you showing up unexpectedly can pull the rug out from under them. This is not only frustrating for your nanny but it can derail your kids’ whole day. If you can, let your nanny know in advance, so they can pave your way in and your visit doesn’t up-end the kids’ routine.
Don’t parent while you work
You hired your nanny to do a job, so let them do it so you can get on with yours. With you nearby, it can be confusing for the kids to define who is really in charge so you need to establish their authority from the outset. This means no intervening if you hear a tantrum (unless someone is actually hurt) and no undermining their authority by saying yes to something they have already said no to.
Your children will take your lead when it comes to how you treat your nanny. Be respectful and try not to correct or argue with them in front of the children. Discuss any issues calmly away from the children and back her up and support their decisions.
If you employ a nanny or childminder, Nanny Payroll can offer helps and advice on your obligations as an employer. Contact us today for a free information pack.