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Work at Home Checklist
Working at home sounds great in theory, but in practice
it just doesn't suit a lot of people. You need to decide
whether working at home is right for you from a practical
and personal perspective. Consider the following:
Do you enjoy working alone?
Is part of the desire to return to work, the drive
for adult company? If so, a lot of work from home options
will not give you this.
Can you motivate yourself to
work at home?
One of the single most difficult things to overcome
when working from home is procrastination.
You can test this. Set yourself a challenge, for example,
to come up with a list of possible work at home options
within a two week period. You will need to do some research
- on the internet, in the library, talking to other
mums, looking at the job ads. Then assess what you want
to be doing. Write down your characteristics, skills,
interests, and qualities, all of which must be reflected
in what you do, to make it fully successful. Can you
take any of these interests or skills and translate
them into a work from home option?
If you are able to complete the above challenge, you
are motivated enough to overcome the procrastination.
If not, you need to think about how you work best. Do
you need a bit of external pressure to get you going
- a boss asking for results, a deadline to meet, a meeting
This doesn't necessarily rule out working from home,
but would perhaps make running your own business too
much of a challenge.
Will you be distracted in the
home environment and find it hard to concentrate?
There are always going to be chores to do, so you need
to actively set aside time to 'work' and not do those
chores. If you haven't done it already, now's the time
to think about getting a cleaner. Think of it as an
investment in your future.
The other obvious distractions are the television,
the good book you started last night, today's newpaper
in the letter box, the neighbour hanging out the washing
and wanting a chat, and the phone calls from friends.
All you need a bit of discipline and the knowledge
that there is time later in the day or the week for
some of those other things. Hopefully you are enjoying
getting back to work and these aren't an issue. If you
find any excuse not to sit down and get on with it,
maybe you haven't come up with the right solution for
Working from home still requires
time without the children.
You will not be able to focus on work and look after
pre school age children, unless you choose to work in
Family Day Care.
Personally I have not found it viable to work when
the children have their rest, or in the evening. I think
you have to accept that the first two years of a child's
life, at least, are very tiring and the main challenge
is to keep day to day life running smoothly.
What is possible, is to get a bit of help
to get started. If you can find a few hours per week
when someone can help with the kids, you can start off
on the path towards working from home. This time must
not be used for any chores, it must be your time for
'work' and as such, you can use it for research, work
experience, training, reading, or whatever is required
to get you started.
I use the excellent Occasional Care near us for my
19 month old for 6 hours on a Monday, while his sister
is at pre-school, and this is my work time. As the children
get older, this time will increase, and as I persuade
the little one to sleep through the night and get my
energy back, working in the evening becomes a real option.
Do you have a space you can
you to work in?
In order to avoid some of the distractions of the home,
you ideally need a space that is dedicated to your work.
If you have to clear away everytime the table is needed
for a meal or homework, it will be harder to maintain
focus. If you can't shut the door on the household noise
for a few moments you will find it hard to concentrate.
Think about the environment you like to work in, where
you work best. Have space to store things so you can
be orgainsed and structured in your approach.
So are you ready to get started? Let's look at the Work
From Home Options out there.
Not for you? What about Part