Dear Professionals at Home,

By now we have all seen the epic video of Robert E. Kelly of the BBC to give a live interview at home when his children steal the show. I loved the parody of the woman version too, women’s version of children interrupting.

It got me thinking about some of my own fails of working at home:

1. My daughter running around naked while on a conference call, but not talking per my instructions

2. My cat jumping up on my shoulder during a video interview, hello!

3. The doorbell ringing, really no one ever comes to my house, why does it happen the only time I am not available

4. Dogs barking incessantly, at nothing, like usual

Besides not having creatures in your house that you cannot control, children and pets, I recommend these simple solutions:

  • Create office hours and dedicated space to physically notify your family. If you take calls all over the house versus a dedicated space your family will not see that as working.
  • When you need absolute peace, close and lock the door. My family knows when I am in my designated space and the door is closed I am “in session” and cannot be disturbed unless I need to call 911.
  • If you are not on live television, ahem, let the other person know you are at home, but your family knows not to disturb you unless it’s an emergency. Many times, I have mentioned I am taking the call at home and please excuse any barking, the other person has shared they are at home too and love dogs.
  • Give animals (and children) treats within reason. Especially for my dogs I give them a treat that will keep them busy during important sessions. For my children, I tell them I am on a call, but when I’m done they get a mini-marshmallows. Yes, I bribe with mini-marshmallows, don’t judge.

What works for you? What embarrassing story do you have?

Ms. Plaid