Working from home has a lot of benefits, like controlling your own workspace and being able to focus and work uninterrupted. But as most remote workers know, every now and then something happens that, despite our best efforts, we just couldn’t stop. The hilarious and relatable incident of Professor Robert Kelly being interrupted mid-interview by his adorable children barging into his home office is great because it shows us that all remote workers experience this sorts of unexpected moments, and it also helps us think of ways we can do our best to avoid similarly hilarious situations. Here are some tips for people to avoid embarrassing moments like these when they work from home from FlexJobs CEO and founder Sara Sutton Fell:
Have a checklist of things you should do before an important meeting or interview. Things like locking the door, putting your phone on vibrate, and turning off IM or email notifications should all be on the checklist.
Put a note on your front door. Whenever you are about to go into a remote meeting, web conference, or video call, put a note on your front door that asks visitors not to ring the doorbell. Neighbors, mail deliveries, salespeople—they’ll all be able to leave you in peace and quiet after they read your note.
Keep books and toys in your office, in case the kids (or the pets!) come in. During the follow-up interview he and his family did after his initial BBC News interview went viral, Professor Kelly mentioned he does this. Keep a few highly-coveted toys and books that you know will keep your kids’ attention if they decide to visit your home office in a moment when you can’t give them your full attention. Likewise, for your pets, keep a few of their favorite toys or treats handy to keep them quiet and occupied (but no squeaky toys!).
You can also embrace it, like Professor Robert Kelly did here: