Are You REALLY Ready to Work at Home?

As a mom, it’s always a challenge to balance motherhood with a career. I had to give up my career to focus on my baby and to just be with her 100% of the time. But what if you are given a choice to still pursue a career while taking care of your kid?

Thank you, technology, for changing the world of work. Finally, I get to work at home and be with my daughter anytime I want to.

But let’s face it. While working at home sounds attractive, not many people would want to try it. I have to admit, there are challenges associated with home-based jobs, and not everybody will find it thrilling.

Whether you are thinking of quitting your regular job to get a home-based job or wanting to earn extra while being a SAHM, hold that thought and read this blog first. This is not meant to discourage you; what I want is for you to have a clear view of the different challenges of working from home and eventually prepare for it. So here are some of the things you need to consider.

Does it match your personality?

First thing to ask yourself: Am I really the type of person who would enjoy working on my own? You will be working remotely, which means communications will either be via Skype, Google Hangouts or other video conferencing apps. So technically, you are all alone. This is a good thing for me, because I am extremely introverted. But if you are the type who loves to interact with other people, this may not be your cup of tea.

Can you cope with multi-tasking?

Jumping from a conference call about monthly targets to giving your toddler a pep talk is not exactly the easiest thing to do. But if you want to work at home, you need to be a pro multitasker. Even when I have a separate office, people will still come up to me and ask me about this and this. I would still have to step out and change nappies, prepare milk, play the Elmo’s World DVD and other distractions. The more often I get sidetracked into other things, the longer the work hours. So by 7PM, I am feeding my kid while emailing the last report of the day.

So yes, there will always be an overlap between work and personal life. Is this something you can deal with?

Can you deal with uncertainties?

 One of the major setbacks of being a freelancer or independent contractor is that there will always be the risk of losing the project. Unlike the traditional workplace, we freelancers are not bound to clients/employers by a contract, which means they can cut us off anytime. There’s no “security of tenure” here. The best way to deal with this kind of uncertainty is to have a contingency plan, a backup project so to speak. So can you cope with this kind of setup?

Are you concerned with the benefits?

When you have a family, you will always think of how to support their healthcare needs. Traditional companies provide medical benefits in the form of health insurance shouldered by the employer and reimbursement of medical expenses. Of course, when you’re working freelance you are not in any way contract-bound to the company, you will not have this kind of benefit. I have my own individually-paid health insurance, and I also pay for SSS and PhilHealth contributions as well as BIR taxes.

As a work-at-home mom, I am wild about the flexibility and convenience it offers. But then again, I want to be as honest as possible about certain issues, such as those mentioned above. If you think you can well live with this kind of setup, then by all means, do it. But if you are hesitant and feel that it may not turn out well for you, defer and give it some thought.

Are you thinking of pursuing a home-based job? Which of the factors listed above do you find most challenging? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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