When Is Working From Home the Best Option?

Since last week, our family has been staying at home most of the time (or 100% of the time) because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I've shared some Coronavirus Infection Prevention Tips on this blog about a month ago and it's sad that the number of COVID-19 infections is increasing.  The government has mandated a community quarantine in our region and school was suspended for a month. My kids are sort of enjoying an early vacation (playing and watching videos) but they do not just stay home doing nothing because they still have some homework to submit online.

As for me, since I'm a work-at-home-mom, my quiet work life is a bit erratic at this time because everybody is at home. It''s a good thing that I have flexible work time and I just work part-time to make sure I can meet family demands as needed.

For one month, the government encouraged private companies to let their employees work from home if possible. I've heard that some Call Centers and BPO companies have arranged for their employees to work from home. My sister who teaches at a music school said that the school is also arranging for them to have virtual classes.

In this time when there is an impending threat to health and people need to distance themselves from each other, it seems that working from home is the best option. This, of course, does not work for all types of careers as some definitely require close contact with people. But perhaps, this is the best time to consider the switch to working from home if you've been thinking about it for some time.

There are decisions to be made before you make the switch. Here are three questions you need to ask yourself:

Can You Work Alone?

The first is to know if working at home is right for you. You can ask yourself about your family situation. Do you need to take care of a sick person? Do you need to take care of your children full-time? Can you make it work meaning can you work alone? Some people can't last a day without having someone to talk to.

What Can You Do?

Next, you need to think about the type of work at home job that you will be doing. Lots of opportunities are available now both online and offline (you can see some work from home jobs listed on this page). The question is which one can you do?

Be an expert in your field working from home.

To be successful, you need to evaluate your own skills and match them with the requirements of a job. The skills you use while working on your out of the home career may be a good point to start thinking about what you can do to work from home. A lot of women become independent contractors in the field that they worked in before. Use your past work experience as a starting point for your WAHM career. You could find a company that hires people with your expertise to work from home.

Try something new that explores your other expertise or skills.

If you're like some people who want to engage in something different from their old job, there are entry-level work opportunities available to aspiring independent contractors, for example, telephone or online customer service agents, medical transcriptionists, data entry specialists and virtual personal assistants. Working from home in these positions basically requires a stable internet connection, a good computer, and sometimes a working phone.

For those who have entrepreneurial skills, here are some business ideas:
  • Join a direct sales company and earn from the sales of their products and recruiting other people to sell their products. Some direct sales companies market aromatherapy products, candles, beauty products, fashion accessories, and cooking supplies.
  • Provide service in your community like daycare services, flower arrangement, professional event planning, and hairdressing. Of course, starting these types of business entails having some experience in that field or learning it if without experience.
  • Start an online store and sell products that you make yourself (handicrafts) or have the rights to resell. Or you can learn affiliate marketing. Recommend products and services to your online friends or audience and get a commission when they buy through your link. 

Once you have decided what type of work at home job you’d like, do your homework and learn more about it. Find out what it takes to be successful with that business. If you can't decide right away, sit on your decision for a week and imagine what your life will be like if you take that job. It would probably help you to decide as well if you think about how much time you can spend on that business. After considering everything, then you can make a decision.

Can You Make it Work?

Working from home doesn't mean you can do what you want when you want. You still have to balance the time you spend with your family, doing chores and working on your business. You might still need help around the house and take time off from the kids in order to do your work. Here are some tips for making it work:

  • Create a schedule for work and home routines on a weekly basis
  • Don't hesitate to ask help from your spouse and older kids when it comes to doing household chores
  • Maximize your time by doing some pre-work like prepping breakfast and lunch or fixing your kids' clothing or uniform the night before
  • Hire a babysitter every now and then if you must to allow you to focus on your work
  • It is a good idea to have a separate home office space inside the house so your family members know when you're working and not to be disturbed

Being a WAHM has its advantages but you have to know when it is the best option for you. Plan carefully before you decide to WAHM and then be patient. With support from your family, you can all make it work for the best.


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