Any working parent knows how difficult it can be to balance work and spending time with their kids. The guilt, which can be overwhelming at times, is only exacerbated by the always-on nature of today’s workplace.
Fortunately, as much as technology has made it more difficult to put work aside and spend time with our families, it’s also playing a role in allowing us to claw back increasingly large amounts of that time.
Here are a few examples of how it’s doing that.
Work from home thanks to super-fast internet, collaborative software
For decades, we’ve been promised that advances in technology would allow us to work from home, allowing parents to spend time that would’ve been wasted on commuting with their children.
Increasingly, that promise is becoming a reality.
More and more people have access to the kind of internet connections that were once the preserve of large corporates, meaning that they can upload and download large files as easily as they could were they in an office.
These faster connections also enable the use of video-conferencing tools and collaborative software.
While there may still be occasions when face-to-face meetings are required, there’s strong evidence to suggest that online collaboration is more effective. Indeed, there are also circumstances where remote workers may be more productive than their office-bound counterparts.
Small wonder then that an increasingly large proportion of people now work remotely. In 2016, 43% of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely.
And given the chance to pick their kids up from school and get home at a decent hour, you’d imagine that many parents would jump at the chance to work remotely.
Use wearables to track your kids’ whereabouts
The same wearable technology that allows you to track your runs, hikes, and bike rides has been baked into children’s wearables.
These wearables, which come in a range of styles and across a wide array of price points, allow parents to track their young ones, via GPS. Some offer geo-fencing, meaning that when a child moves outside a certain location range, their parent will receive an alarm message. Others include cellular connectivity, allowing children to make an SOS call.
While these devices are no substitute for being present, they can give parents who have to leave their kids with babysitters or elderly relatives a little extra peace of mind.
Online on-demand services save time and admin
When you work all week, it can be all too easy for weekends to become consumed with admin. Whether it’s cleaning the house, doing shopping, or getting through the laundry, it’s all stuff that adds up and means less time with the kids.
Fortunately, there are an array of online, on-demand services that make it increasingly easy for parents to avoid the time and hassle those tasks present.
Take laundry, for instance. In the UAE, services such as Washmen allow you to get your laundry picked up, washed, and delivered without doing anything more than picking up your phone and making a few selections in the app.
Tech allows working parents to share in their kids’ daycare activities
For many working parents, daycare facilities are incredibly important resources. Thing is, no matter how good the facility is, you can still end up feeling like you’re missing out on important parts of your child’s day.
Fortunately, technology plays a role here too.
At a basic level, many daycare providers now send WhatsApp messages to parents, letting them know what their children have been up to.
There are also more sophisticated apps, which give parents rolling updates throughout the day.
Not only does this help parents put their minds at ease by showing them that they’re getting value for their money, it also makes them feel included in the day.
How has technology made your life easier, as a working parent? Let us know in the comments section below.