Homeworking seems to be the holy grail for many mothers. It allows them to be near schools or childcare if anything goes wrong – as it inevitably does – and saves on commuting time so they can get more done. But there are some important things to bear in mind before you embark on homeworking.
Top Tips for Homeworking.
This may seem absurd, but the first thing to do is to ensure that the job you are doing can be done at home. Homeworking is particularly suitable for research, data inputting and projects that need concentration and focus.
It may not be suitable for other jobs which require a lot of face to face meetings.
Also consider whether you are the kind of person who likes working alone. If you aren’t, but really want the flexibility of homeworking some days, you could see if it is possible to combine homeworking with going into the office for a few days a week so that you get regular contact with your colleagues.
Ensure you have childcare in place. It is very difficult to work when trying to look after children, no matter how placid they are.
Ensure your work station at home meets with health and safety standards. Your employer should do a check for you.
Is your computer up to scratch for the work you need to do and do you have a back-up if it crashes? This is vital. Ensure you discuss technical issues with your employer.
You will need to ensure you have the right internet connections for work, eg, broadband. Again talk this over with your employer and discuss at an early stage issues like the phone bill and how you ensure your employer pays for work-related calls.
For instance, you might want to install a work line to make things simpler and to distinguish work from home related calls. Again, your employer should cover these costs.
Ensure you have regular communication with the office. Communication is one of the big issues with homeworking. It is harder to do properly from remote, but it is possible.
Ring the office regularly and keep in email contact. If you can make sure you go into the office on a regular basis, if only for a meeting to catch up with what is going on, including the gossip, and to ensure you do not feel sidelined.
Your manager should set manageable targets for you so that you know you are achieving them and can have regular meetings to see if they are working and what can be done to ensure that you meet them.
If possible, keep your work space distinct from the rest of the house and try not to let the children near it!