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Study uncovers struggle of working and learning from home during coronavirus lockdown


A study by HP has revealed it’s been quite a challenging time for Australians during the coronavirus lockdown as they work from home and try to home school their children.

The biggest concern, according to research conducted by HP, is from parents about their child’s education (62 per cent) followed by managing their work life balance (61 per cent) and keeping their kids entertained (48 per cent).

On the technology side, the biggest worries were lack of equipment, network issues (48 per cent) and children not spending enough time on non-digital activities 45 per cent).

HP has partnered with Canva to create resources to help parents and children as they work and learn from home.

HP has also come up with some tips to help parents cope with working from home and maintain that important work/life balance.

It has been an unsettling time for parents, children and business owners and not just because they had to adjust to lockdown and isolation but also dealing with trying to keep their businesses running, working from home and trying to educate their kids.

And as a result they really had to lean on the technology and connectivity that was available to them.

In many cases, their current set-up wasn’t enough and nearly half (43 per cent) has to purchase new technology to help them work remotely.

It was a time when many households (48 per cent) realised their home network wasn’t up to scratch to help keep everyone connected while working or schooling from home as well as keeping them entertained.

Products like mesh network routers and printers were popular choices for customers.

The HP study shows that 67 per cent of Australians are currently working from home with 76 per cent of those considering continuing to work from home once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

“Aussie parents are suddenly dealing with the additional pressure of managing their work life balance, their children’s education, domestic duties and their wellbeing all under one roof,” said Paul Gracey, Director of Printing Systems, HP Australia and New Zealand.

“As a dad myself, keeping my kids engaged in their education outside of school is extremely important, but so is recognising parents are in need of resources to help their children balance screen time whilst they play, we wanted to provide Aussie families with some tools to use their time productively but also have fun together at home.”

HP has partnered with Canva and other brands to launch Print, Play & Learn – a free online resource to help parents and kids to help with at home learning.

The resources include literacy content, worksheets, colouring pages, puzzles and other printable learning tools for children aged up to 12.

HP has also come up with some tips about working from home and still maintaining a work/life balance.

Here are HP’s tips:

– Find a balance

We’re spending more time than ever on our screens, whether we’re working, playing or learning. It’s important to find the right screen time balance and find time to unwind. HP has launched its new Print, Play & Learn platform, curated with partners such as Education.comTIME for KidsCanva, and KiwiCo, to make it easier for parents to find and print activities for kids ages 2 to 12, with content added weekly. The printable activities are available for download or directly from the HP Smart App.

 Create a routine and stick to it.
 For a lot of us, our normal routines have been shattered. No more morning coffee, regular commute or gym session, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up routine altogether. Starting each day with a simple set of steps will help to keep you focused and productive as it comes time to starting work. Print out a to-do list to keep you on track and mimic your normal schedule, such as enrolling in an online fitness class to replace your regular gym session.

– Set up some ground rules and sacred workspaces

It can be hard to focus and meet important work deadlines when sharing a space with others, especially if there are kids in the mix. Setting clear ground rules about what everyone can and can’t do in specific areas of the house is a must. This includes not keeping home office tech in sight during family time. Even if you don’t have a home office, dedicate a space in your house where you house your PC, printer and all the tech you need for working from home that will allow you to focus on the task at hand.

 Move around and schedule breaks

It can be easy to forget to get up and move around as you normally would in an office. Make sure you take the time to stand up, walk around, stretch and take care of your brain and body. Plan specific time slots every day to prepare food and eat your lunch away from your workspace to clear your thoughts.