Tag Archives: balance

This is Why You May Not Be Able To Work From Home

Stressed, worn out, tired and frustrated, if that’s how you would describe your journey to you JOB today and you’re reading this post in a crowded office, inside a tiny windowless cubicle, surrounded by irritating sounds and voices just dreading the commute home, you’re not alonerat race

Even though advances in technology allow many to work in telecommute capacities from remote locations, there are still many in the situation described above. In fact, the majority in the workforce today are still stuck in that kind of work environment. So the next question you may be asking is why?

Why are so many still wasting what could be productive hours stuck commuting in rush hour traffic?  Why do they have to waste money on gas and put needless wear and tear on their vehicles, pay huge tolls or get squashed and crammed into seats on mass transit and pay fare increases at every turn?

National statistics show that remote workers are more productive, take fewer sick days and have a more pleasing and quieter work environment than those still stuck in the corporate rat race.

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Many business owners predict that by 2022 more than 50% of their now office based employees will be working in a telecommute capacity out of their home office. Many think that 20 years from now commuting will be a thing of the past.

However, if you are still reading in that tiny, cramped cubicle, you may be wondering if the dream of working from your home office will ever be a reality for you. Why are some employers holding back from this concept?

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No trust, sad but true, most employers do not trust their employees. While most would never admit it, that is why they will not embrace the remote work lifestyle. Some managers like the power they feel running their little empire where they can see their worker bees right in front of them. Employees out of sight for these managers means a lack of control. In reality it is due to their incompetent management skills and lack of knowledge about how to manage a remote workforce.

This fear of not being in control is worse at smaller companies.  Even though they have a more intimate and friendly relationship with their employees they feel if they are trekking in to work so should the office staff.

The lack of trust transfers over to the employees because almost half believe their performance is based on how much time they spend in the office and not what they are ultimately delivering. They worry if they are not in the main cubicle maze filled arena they will be forgotten and lose the chance to promote in the company.  They have a need to be seen and feel working in a remote location would not show their level of commitment to their employer.

Many employees would accept a pay cut for the option of working from a home office. Nearly 1/3 of corporate employees would accept a pay cut or decrease in vacation time if they had the ability to work from home.  However, many do not want to telecommute exclusively because that makes them feel socially isolated. They crave contact with co workers and sometimes feel that family interruptions could affect their performance negatively.

Working remotely like anything else is not a perfect fit for everyone.  Not all jobs can be done from home either. Correction officers, doctors, nurses, janitorial staff, landscapers, cab drivers, bus drivers, train engineers, plumbers, electricians and domestic help, etc will usually not have a telecommute option.

Then there is the face to face aspect that some managers feel is imperative for their business.  Sure there are virtual offices  Skype, slack and other technology to facilitate team work and one on one meetings, but sometimes there is a need for  physical interaction that’s missing from the virtual world.

Depending on the kind of technology needed the cost could be a large part of why some small companies cannot embrace the telecommuting culture. However some small companies realize big savings with remote workers and can reduce their overhead costs considerably.

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I have been working remotely for almost a decade and I love it.  I cannot imagine going back to the corporate rat race.  I utilize technology that allows me interaction and conversation with coworkers and partners, ability to meet with clients all from the comfort of my home office.

If you are looking for a remote career, contact us today for more information on how we can help you find that ideal working environment and help you achieve a better work/life balance.

Balancing Kids and Your Career

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I’m a mom who has the ability to work from home and I really feel blessed that I can.  I’m able to do so much more for my family and kids then when I worked a corporate job with a commute and having to spend the entire workday in my office.  However no one said working from home does not have challenges because it certainly does.

Balancing a career and kids is challenging and it doesn’t matter if they are home or in school, you will feel yourself up on that tightrope a lot.  Here are some ways you can make things easier:

Don’t accept the guilt–Studies show children with working moms grow up well-adjusted and they are on average higher academic achievers and less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety later in life compared to peers who had moms that did not work.

Have a Plan–If you are just going back to work whether from home or out in the corporate world, you need to have plans in place for child care, after school activities, back up plans for snow days and sick days and a support person you can call for any of the unplanned situations that occur with kids.

Have a Flexible Workplace-This is why I love working from home and being able to create my own hours to work around things that I need to do.  I can volunteer at my children’s school, go on field trips, take time off when I want or need to and that gives me such peace of mind.  I think it is what makes all of what I do possible.

Make sure your children get enough sleep-Getting enough rest is important for children, too. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between the ages of 1 and 10 get between 10 and 13 hours of sleep each night. In addition, evidence suggests that young children who get less than 7.5 hours of sleep at night are at increased risk for being overweight and experiencing anxiety, depression and learning problems as adolescents.

Lose your expectations or at least adjust them-If something is not working change it and understand that there is no perfection and you don’t have to be perfect.  Learn to roll with it and you will be a lot happier.  Understand things usually end up working for the best even when they are not going how you intended.

Schedule in family fun time– Make sure to schedule time for fun and family events and don’t let anything make you miss them.  The break is good for everyone and you will all be a lot happier.

Kick Perfection to the curb-Don’t hold yourself to perfection or feel you need to be perfect because you are just going to be miserable trying to keep up with that agenda.  Instead cut yourself slack and know that your best is good enough and life comes in stages so what may be a hurdle now with your kids and your career will pass and other hurdles will come but you will be constantly growing and evolving and things have a way of falling into place even if they are not perfect.  Good enough is okay!

If you are looking for a more flexible career, something that will allow you the ability to work from a home office while earning a corporate level income, we can help.  Contact us today to learn about career options that will have you less stressed and spending more time with your family.

Great Tips To Balance Working From Home When The Kids Are Out Of School!!!

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I can relate well to working at home with kids and for moms that have had their kids in school all year, summer can bring new challenges.  For moms just getting accustomed to having the kids home all day, it may be very hard to figure out how this is going to work.  It can work but there is an adjustment period and some strategies to help you both have a fun, productive and memorable summer.

Top Tips for Working From Home With Young Kids Home For Summer Vacation:

1. Plan, plan, plan. Create a schedule for the day– I sometimes hate to plan because it always seems there is some monkey ready to throw a monkey wrench in.  However, you really must try to plan and have a schedule to have the best chance of keeping everyone on track this summer.  Plan out some fun for you and the kids every day.  It will really help everyone to feel connected, refreshed and will not only make you feel better as a mom but return and work more productively.  When fun time is on the calendar, kids will know there is something to look forward to and are more apt to leave you alone when you do need to work.

The routine of having a plan is comforting to kids and they like to know what to expect.  So even if you have a monkey or two that does throw a wrench in the mix you should be able to handle it and get back on track. Post the schedule in a place that is accessible and easy for the kids to see. Include other items like conference calls, writing time, meeting time, play dates, activities and meals so that everyone can clearly see what the day holds.

2. Get up earlier than your kids or stay up and work later– You do this anyway, right? When my kids are home during everyone else’s traditional work hours, we have a lot of together time during the day, and this means I have to plan for work when they’re asleep, or I’ll carve out more time over the weekend when my husband is home. Just knowing I have time mentally set aside in a few hours allows me to relax a little more and be more present during the times I’ve scheduled to be focused on my children.

3. Be Honest With Your Clients– If you are in a business that is family friendly, and you have chosen to accept clients that appreciate your focus on work/life balance, then let your clients know you are juggling the kids and your business during the summer.  Tell them how blessed you are to have the option to work from home but that the summer means that there needs to be some extra creativity and scheduling to keep things in order.

Make sure clients know you will live up to your expectations for them and that you will make sure to meet deadlines so they are at ease.  The heads-up will let them understand if it takes a little longer to reach you or something along those lines.

4. Plan for interactive crafts or activities they can do independently– What did we do before Pinterest and blogs? There are so many crafts that kids can do on their own, and I find setting kids up with a fun activity keeps them happy and lets you get work done.

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5. Make Meal Time A Priority–  Set aside ample time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Turn off  and unplug from all distractions. Make eye contact with your kids and have conversation. Remember you are making great memories here and spending quality time.

6. Take breaks when the whining starts– There will be times when, despite your best intentions and planning, your kids will not be able to NOT bug you. When you can, stop what you are doing, get up, and spend a few focused minutes with your kids. Give them the attention they need to let them know you are there for them, and ease them into resuming their independent activity. Sometimes the whining is a good indication that they’ve had enough independent activity time, too, so listen to their cues and if you have to, move around the schedule and have some quality time now versus later.

7. Save Busy Work– Entrepreneurs have many busy work tasks that can be set aside and completed after hours. Filing, paying bills, pulling reports, organizing digital documents, preparing for meetings, updating web content and scheduling social media posts are all tasks that sometimes can be put off and tackled outside of the times when your children are home & awake.

8. Save screen time or quiet reading time for your conference call times– When you have to make calls, this is a great time to set the kids up with a movie, tablets, computer time, or other activities that you know will take a while longer, such as their quiet reading time or movie time.

9. Get out of the house– If you are able to work from your computer or can make calls away from home, do it!  Go pack up and take the kids to the park or sit and work outside while you supervise them riding bikes or playing with frineds.and refreshed, ready to begin again.

10. Ask Your Kids For Help– Even elementary age kids can help you with some business tasks. Enlist your kids to help and they will keep busy and feel special.

11. Go with the flow– Always remember the monkeys with the wrenches, things will happen to throw you off track so be prepared.  Working from home with kids can lead to many interruptions that cause us to take longer to complete things and to have to start things over.  If your perfect plan does not work remember there are 25 other letters in the Alphabet so just roll with ti and try the next letter.

Most of all, get off the guilty mom train & stop trying to do things the way you think other people think you should.  Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for working or taking care of things while your kids do something independently and don’t feel like you are a bad mom.  Independent activities are very beneficial for kids and they do not need a helicopter mom who does not let up.  In the end the independent activities and time will help them be better equipped for real life.

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Have a great Summer!!!