I am a part of many mom forums and even otherwise daily come across many women wanting to do some work from home. Many of them are frustrated or unhappy that they are unable to utilize their skills and qualifications or have an income of their own. Many women feel lonely once the kids are grown up and want to do something of their own. Many women in nuclear setup or otherwise do not wish to leave their small babies and go out to work and hence look for work-from-home opportunities.
Sounds nice and it is a boon for many women too! There are lots of work-from-home options coming up each day. Jobs in the field of content writing, blogging, data entry, social media-related jobs, medical transcription, tuition, etc., etc. are few work-from-home options.
But is it really as easy as it sounds? Like every other thing, work from home has its own pros and cons. I started working from home when my son turned 9 months old. I stay in a nuclear set-up with my husband being my rock solid support always. Its been almost 14 years now that I have been working from home, changed my job profile though. I have had and still have many hard days. Now with the kids grown up things are easier but still managing the home, kids’ studies, people, phone calls, etc., is quite a task.
Sharing few tips from my own experience of so many years of working from home:
1. Work from home doesn’t mean that you don’t have to denote fixed working hours. Yes, it has more flexibility than the office hours yet one needs to stay committed to the assigned hours. Stay connected with your work colleagues online.
2. Before starting any work from home option, please think calmly about it. It is a commitment after all. You can keep on taking breaks every 3-4 days citing kids’ issues or other social problems. It impacts your performance as well as irritates your employer.
3. Support system. Create a support system, specially if your child is very small, so that you can work without any distractions while someone takes care of your child or does the home chores.
4. Don’t expect the same salary, perks, or career growth as one gets when works from office. I won’t generalize but generally the work-from-home jobs options have slower growth and sometimes lesser salary as compared to the office-going counterparts. Things are changing though!
5. Don’t try to do home chores and your job together. It’s hugely distracting! What I used to do was did some chores before starting my work and then finished the other chores later. Compartmentalize your work and prioritize them accordingly.
6. Inform your family and friends about work timings so that they call or visit accordingly, unless any emergency of course.
7. Spouse and children play a big supportive role for women who work from home, at least holds true for me. My husband was always very, very helpful and supportive. Once my kids turned a bit older they also started realizing that mom is working and that she shouldn’t be disturbed. Now the kids are my motivating factor! Involve your family in your work schedule!
8. Keep on reinventing and updating yourself. Work from home can get stagnating at times. Look for some other line which interests you, learn more about it, and try to work in that field, if you wish to.
Any work, be it from office or from home, is never easy. Every place has its own set of challenges. If you have decided to take the plunge, best of luck!