What’s Your Plan? Part 4: Working At Home

Editor’s Introduction:  We’ve all heard the phrase, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.  Variations of this quote have been attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill and Alan Lakein, as well as others.  With the New Year upon us, we often start to think of planning, setting goals and accomplishing new things.  To start off our Parenting with Altitude blogs this year, we’ve asked several parents to tell us about their planning efforts in respect to financial planning and resources for their family.  We’ll be publishing this series of blogs over the next several weeks with the hope that you’ll find some ideas and inspiration for planning for your family, specifically for your son or daughter with a disability or special health care need.  Because working maybe an important part of your financial planning, today we offer a post on working from home!

Working from Home: Will It Work for YOU?

Working from home has become the latest trend and we are talking globally here. Every day, more and more companies are allowing their employees to work from home at least once or twice a week. And even more companies are looking to outsource, looking for employees who can work from home and, sometimes, from a different country. We can see these “work from home” job offers increasing every single day on the different job boards and people are really starting to get into this new groove because, let’s face it, staying at home has to be better than going to the office every day. However, this is not true for everyone. Working from home has its pros and cons, but, in the end, it depends on each person.

Let’s begin listing some of the pros: no commuting, that alone should convince you to stay home, no traffic, no public transportation, no people on top of you during rush hour, just bliss while you walk from your room to the office space; flexibility of hours and in managing that time, most of these jobs do not necessarily have a rigid schedule you need to follow, so you are able to manage your own time, especially if you are a freelancer; less stress, since most people working from home are their own bosses, or their bosses are nowhere near them, stress can be reduced to a minimum; less distractions hence more productivity, no useless meetings, no coworkers telling you about their 13 cats or children, no running around the whole office looking for a photocopier that actually works, no wasting time with small talk, just you and your family; more family time, since you are already at home, there is a really good chance you can spend more time with your family, or your dogs, while working from home, you just need to be organized and know how to manage your time in a productive way.

Even though you are now probably ready to pack up your desk and go home, you need to know that working from home also has its disadvantages: isolation, even though some people prefer being alone, others would rather have some company during the day, but if you have a family, this is not really a problem; distractions, we might have more distractions in an office, but that does not mean there are not any at home, browsing social media becomes your biggest enemy while working from home; separating work from home, this is probably one of the worst disadvantages of working from home, you need to be able to organize your day in a way you get to spend enough time working and enough time with your family or friends, try to have a separate space for working, do not stay in your bedroom, find a good nook in the house to do so; working endlessly, since you have no one controlling your hours but yourself, you might feel the need to work at all times, that is why you need to be very organized with your time and prioritizing your responsibilities.

If you’re a working parent and a parent who has a child with special needs, you experience untold challenges in balancing responsibilities. Studies show that 40 percent of these moms had switched jobs, reduced hours or refused promotions because of their intense parenting responsibilities.  Long days in the office = less time at home. That arrangement doesn’t always make sense for a parent, so many of them prefer to look for jobs that keep them closer to home, especially if they have younger children or children with disabilities or special health care needs.

Here are a few tips on how you can manage taking care of your child and working from home:

Time Constraints: You may have daytime hours available or you may only be able to work nights. You need to honestly look at the time you have available and commit to finding work that fits into your busy life.

Chaos: Keep in mind, some of the most readily available work from home jobs are in customer service. Chaos is an everyday occurrence with children, so before looking for work, know that, life in general, may limit your ability to work a number of popular at-home jobs.

Remain Open-Minded: Remain open minded about remote working possibilities. You’re going to have limitations when it comes to working from home as a parent and you may very well land on something that works perfectly into your busy schedule.

It may not be easy to go from the job search to actually managing life as a stay-at-home, work-at-home, mother or father. If you’re determined, you can make this work and gain valuable family time while still earning a living.  Now you are ready to consider your options and decide whether you are a good candidate to work from home or not. Welcome to the future!

Vanessa Fardi is a team leader at NEUVOO. NEUVOO is a free job search aggregator that indexes jobs directly from companies’ career websites, placement agencies and job boards. You can reach Vanessa at vaness@neuvoo.com

How are you planning for your son or daughter?  You can share your ideas with us at:  p2p-co@yahoogroups.com  Be sure to visit The Resource Storeroom for more information on Financial Resources and Planning.  Two other helpful resources include:  The Arc Future Planning and Wright’s Law Future Planning  We also love the resources at Lifecoursetools – these are great visual planning resources to use with your son or daughter to create “a good life” with financial planning included. For more ideas on working from home and balancing parenting responsibilities, we like Achieving Balance As A Work At Home Parent

We’re looking for a new Team Member at Parent to Parent of Colorado to work on a grant funded project!  Much of the work can be complete at home!  For a full job description or any questions, please email us at infop2p@abilityconnectioncolorado.org



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