Working from home is a benefit for moms who want the flexibility to raise their kids and still have a career. Being able to avoid commute time means you get more time for the things that matter the most in your life. Some opportunities even come with flexible schedules that makes working from home even more ideal.
But it also comes with some unique challenges. Working from home can be distracting if there are responsibilities to take care of at home as well. Being home may make it more tempting to focus on those things instead of just working. Plus, if you work from home while your kids are home, those constant distractions can lower your productivity. If you’re thinking about working from home or starting a work-from-home business, here are some tips to help you get started:
A Comfortable Wardrobe
While you don’t need to be in formal business attire when you work from home, you can create a comfortable, and yet professional-looking wardrobe in case you need to hop on Zoom calls or meet up with a client in person. A comfortable wardrobe is essential for the work-from-home mom. You need to be able to sit in front of your computer or at a desk for hours on end, so you want to be sure that your outfit is as cozy as possible. There are many great women’s work wear options that still look tidy and professional, but that are far more comfortable than slacks and a button-up shirt. Plus, wearing something more put together than your pajama pants or sweatpants can help you feel more focused and engaged in your work.
A Dedicated Space to Work In
You need a place that is quiet, distraction-free, and comfortable. You will want a desk or table for your laptop and other supplies, plus some sort of filing system for your paperwork if applicable. If possible, this area should have a door that can be closed when you are working so it doesn’t feel like the rest of the house is intruding on your space. This dedicated space should also include good lighting and maybe some nice décor to make it feel like your office.
Time Management Skills
Time management is an essential skill for anyone, but it’s especially important for work-from-home moms. When you’re at home with your kids, it’s easy to let their needs impact your work schedule. To be successful at home, it’s important to block your time in a way that allows you to get work done, while also meeting the needs of your children. Some moms find that a mother’s helper during the most important work hours can be a lifesaver. Plus, they are often far more affordable than a traditional nanny or babysitter.
If you need permission to get help, here it is. Just because you are home working, does not mean that you are responsible for the household needs during work hours. Many work-from-home moms hire a housekeeper or someone to do meal prep so that they can focus on creating great work, and then be able to have family time when work hours are over. It’s okay to ask for help, you do not need to do it all on your own. In fact, hiring help can create a less stressful environment where you can be more present. The good news is that things like grocery delivery or pickup can also alleviate some of the stress you experience when working from home.
The Right Technology Tools
Of course, working from home means that you need the right technology. This can mean having a large monitor, a good laptop, a smartphone, and even software programs that aid you in getting more work done. Only you know the things that will help you with your work, so make sure that you don’t skimp on getting those needs met.
When you start working from home, you might be surprised to hear from your friends if they need someone to watch their children or if they want to hang out during the day. Learning to set good boundaries means being clear about the fact that you are working and you are not available for childcare or spending time together during certain hours.
Stable Internet AccessMost work-from-home jobs require you to connect via the internet. You’ll need a stable connection if you want to support uploading documents, having video calls, and even accessing cloud-based work tools. There are many options out there including satellite-based internet.
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