No matter how many times you close the door to your office, small children are bound to find a way in — and will want to “work” right alongside you. Instead of shutting the door on your children, childproof your office and invite your toddlers to give you a hand.
There are several things you can do to keep equipment and important documents from peanut-butter-covered hands, without having to shut your children out of your life from nine to five.
1. Turn the lower shelves of your bookcases into toy shelves. Place quiet toys like books, Legos and stuffed animals (the ones that don’t talk or sing) at eye level to attract your children’s attention away from your work.
2. Put temptation out of reach. Raise your computer, telephone and fax machine up where your kids can’t get at them. But to give your children the idea that they are really helping you, give them an old keyboard to play with — this way they can type, without your having to delete gibberish from your big report.
3. Lock your drawers. This will keep curious hands out of your file cabinets and away from things that could be swallowed.
4. Keep office supplies out of reach. This will prevent you from having to cut tape out of your kids’ hair and erase pencil marks from your walls.
5. Give your children their own workspace. Place a child-size table and chairs in your office for your kids to work at. This way they can be right with you without sitting at your desk and drawing on your papers.
Although you may have hired a baby-sitter to tend to your little ones, they will still want to be with you and help you with your work. Involve your children in your daily tasks, when appropriate, by letting them ‘help Mommy or Daddy work.’