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Do You Want To Work From Home?

By on September 24, 2015

Quite a number of women have always wished they could work from home; be there for the children, home cooked meals, take a break and do the school-run, being your own boss, having a flexible time schedule. If you’re thinking of doing this, you might just want to consider and take note of the following things…

Here are ten realities you’ll need to face when you switch from being Superwoman in the office to being Superwoman at home:

Reality no. 1: You may not have time to make homecooked meals after all.
A lot of work-from-home moms that I know don’t even cook. They’ve got a husband or household helpers or the children’s grandparents to do it for them. Why?
Because cooking is time consuming, and clients can be demanding, and there are only so many hours in a day. What if your client says, “Can you do a rush job? I need this in two hours.” — can you say no?
Clients are so hard to get and can be easy to lose. Will you refuse the rush job that earns you x amount per hour because you need to cook lunch for your kids? If you say no, where will your client go – and when they go, will they ever come back to you again?

If you’re like many work-from-home moms, this kind of scenario usually results in a happy client and instant oatmeal for lunch. And it happens more often than you may think, because for many clients, the deadline was always “yesterday.”

Reality no. 2: You still won’t be there all day for the children.
If you were, you wouldn’t have time to work at all. Usually, the kids of work-at-home moms learn that there are at least eight hours a day when Mommy is either locked up in her room or simply uncommunicative. “Don’t knock unless you’re bleeding.”

If you don’t have a rule like this, you’ll find that kids are forever discovering interesting things and wanting to show them to you while you’re in the middle of a difficult sentence in your email. By the time you get back to your computer, you’ll need to read the email from the start to re-gather your thoughts and resume your flow. Hopefully, by the time your flow resumes, your kid hasn’t found another interesting thing to show you again.

While this may be tolerable if it only happened once a day, it’s far more likely to happen every half hour if you don’t set the “No talking to Mommy when she’s at work” rule right at the onset.

Reality no. 3: Your productivity will go down.
Offices are specifically designed to minimize distractions. Homes are not. What you could accomplish at the office in eight hours, you will only be able to accomplish at home in sixteen hours. Why?
Because children quarrel and would need a referee. Or somebody would actually bleed and only Mommy can comfort them. (You wouldn’t want them to run to yaya with a bleeding finger when you’re right there at home, would you?)

When we’re at home, even during work hours, we are expected to set the table and wash the dishes. We are expected to sweep the floor, launder the clothes, and answer the doorbell.

The fact that you’re at work will not deter your housemates from living their own lives. They will continue to watch TV or listen to the radio.

We’ll say it again: homes are full of distractions. If you expect to maintain your old office productivity, expect to work double your work hours as well.

Reality no. 4: You may miss adult companionship.
Do you like chatting with your colleagues during lunch break or at the water cooler? Do you like going out after work? You may miss these more than you think when you’re stuck at home with nobody to chat with but your children’s nanny and your husband. Hey, we’re not saying it’s not fun to chat with your nanny or husband. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t – you tell us.

On the other hand, if you prefer to stay alone at work – you have lunch alone, go to the bathroom alone, go straight home from work – then you may find working from home very comfortable, a sanctuary where you’re finally freed from most of the pressures of having to socialize with your fellow adults.

Reality no. 5: You may miss eating out.
When you’re working at an office, you are usually about twenty steps away from a variety of dining establishments. Cheeseburger, pesto, pasta, fruit shakes, designer coffee, dimsum, sushi, Bicol express, shawarma – you name it, it’s right there for the taking. (This is especially valuable when you’re pregnant and have all sorts of food cravings.)

At home, you’re stuck with homecooked meals. Now homecooked meals may have had a lot of good press, but in reality, they can be rather boring and limited compared to the treasure trove of food and recipes you’d leave behind at the office. If you don’t live beside a mall, you will definitely miss eating food that somebody else cooked for you.

Reality no. 6: Work can be seasonal.
This may not apply if you’re still employed as a regular employee who is simply working under a telecommuting scheme, but most work-from-home moms run their own business. This means you will have times when business is slow, as clients’ needs fluctuate.

Unfortunately, your electricity bills and water bills and Internet bills and childcare bills do not fluctuate at the same rate. Whether you’re earning little or a lot, the bills remain practically the same. So if you haven’t learned yet to save for a rainy day, you’ve got to learn fast!

Reality no. 7: Client payments get delayed.
Oh, this is painful. There are times when work is fast but client payments are slow. Some poor work-from-home moms have even gotten clients who don’t pay at all!

There is nothing more demoralizing than finding that, after working sixteen hours per day , your wallet is still empty and you don’t have money to pay for basic groceries because your clients say they can’t release your payment yet because their clients haven’t paid them yet either (that’s supposed to be your problem?). On days like these, you will definitely miss the days when you at least knew that when the 15th and 30th of the month comes, you’ll have money to pay the yaya and Meralco.

Reality no. 8: There’s no such thing as holidays.
Well, this is not exactly true. You can take holidays if you like, but if your income is directly proportional to your output, it’s unlikely you’ll be taking holidays. Some of us don’t even take weekends. Some work-from-home moms who don’t have childcare help don’t even sleep more than four hours at night, as that’s the only time they get to work in peace.

If you have a yaya helping you out, holidays can mean the yaya gets double pay (it’s only fair) – but there’s no double pay for you.

Reality no. 9: If you don’t have a high level of self-discipline, you can very easily fail.
What kind of worker were you at the office? Were you prone to taking long lunch breaks and doing non-work-related stuff during work time? How was your productivity while there was a boss checking up on you? Because if your productivity was mediocre when you had somebody breathing down your neck, it’s not very likely that the quality and quantity of your work is going to go up when you’re on your own.

And when you’re a work-from-home mom, productivity is everything. Often, our income depends on how much work we churn out. The longevity of our clients depends on how perfect our work is. You’ve got nobody but the clients themselves to do quality check on your work, and if they don’t like what they see, they probably won’t tell you; they’ll just go find somebody else. You need self-discipline when you work from home. It will not work otherwise.

Working from home is also dependent on your personality: Will it give you peace, or will it drive you crazy? Do you find the idea of staying home all day stifling or liberating? Will being your own boss teach you to fly, or will it take away the wind beneath your wings?

Now that you’ve had a glimpse of “the dark side” of working from home, you may be asking yourself, “Why, then, do women bother to make the shift?”

We bother because, for some of us, the rewards are greater than the costs; the gain is greater than the loss. Our income may be less stable, but it compensates by becoming more substantial (when it does come).
We may not have more time with our kids, but we are able to be there at the exact moment that it matters for us to be there – like when somebody is actually bleeding. The risk of failure may be higher, but the potential for success is greater as well.

So, for you. Would you rather be a work-from-home-Mum or an office-Mum? Let us know.

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