Whether you’ve been working full time in the office or if you’ve been a stay-at-home parent, becoming a work-from-home parent is a big transition. There are a lot of positives, but there are also some challenges. Here are some of the main pros and cons you should consider to help you make the right choice for you and your family.
The Pros of Working From Home
Though all telecommuting jobs are different, many companies offer work-from-home parents the ability to make their own hours. Most offices today are focused on your productivity and less on the actual hours your keep. You’ll be able to take the clients and projects you want to take that serve your family’s needs the best for that particular month. The flexibility of being a work-from-home parent extends far beyond hours and projects. You’ll be able to thaw food for dinner at a moment’s notice or start a load of laundry during your lunch break. Moreover, if your child is sick, it’s much easier to take care of them when you’re able to work remotely.
- Peace of Mind
Working from home can allow you to keep a closer eye on your children and their child carers. Whether your parents come to your house or you have hired help, it will give you peace of mind to know your baby is being cared for and loved. Your presence at home can also ensure that your household and discipline rules are being upheld.
- More Family Time
As a work-from-home parent, you’ll be physically present more around your house, which means your family will see you all the time. If it’s important for you to greet your children and make them a snack when they get home from school, it’s easy to make that part of your regular routine.
With no commute and colleagues not popping by your desk for chit-chat or to pull you into a meeting (that doesn’t end up being productive), you can often get more done when working from home.
The Cons of Working From Home
- Harder to Get Noticed
While you might be knocking your job out of the park, getting important executives to notice you might be more of a challenge when you aren’t physically at the office. If the whole office is telecommuting, everyone is in the same boat. But if it’s just you, plan some days to go to the main office for in-person meetings.
- Odd Hours
Unfortunately, having flexible hours doesn’t always lend itself to a more convenient lifestyle. Some days, you may get bogged down with household chores, running errands or last-minute trips to the doctor. Though you might be able to make up the hours at your convenience, you might not get any work done until after the children are sound asleep. Before you know it, it’s 1 in the morning and you still have work to do.
Social butterflies who thrive on interaction and chatting with colleagues will be missing out on their favourite aspect of work. It can be overwhelming, isolating and depressing for these work-from-home parents. Taking a personal inventory can help potential work-from-home parents easily figure out if it makes sense. One way to work around this is to have Skype video conferences with colleagues and communicate with them using instant message groups.
- Setting Boundaries
Though you’ll be present, you might be distracted when you’re facing a big to-do list or a looming deadline. Work-from-home parents should set some clear boundaries for their family, putting specific rules and office hours in place for your entire family. That way, you can focus on important tasks during working time and then get back to spending quality time with the family — faster.