Working from home

  • January 3, 2017 at 7:58 pm #744
    Ashia RAshia R
    Participant

    When I started working from home, I thought I could edit and process client work during nap times and after my kids went to sleep (I’m a photographer).

    The stress of trying to get both kids down for naps at the same time, worrying about missing deadlines when they were sick or just didn’t want to go down, and all of the issues that came with trying to concentrate in a short 1.5-hour block was insane.

    So, I put my eldest in preschool and stayed home with the baby.

    My eldest was in preschool for a ‘full day’ – which ended at 1pm. By the time I got home and put the baby down for a nap, there really wasn’t time for anything at all – especially since pick-up from preschool requires so much waiting.

    Only a few months in – I was going nuts. We ended up having to switch the kids to a much, MUCH more expensive preschool. It’s down the block and has extended hours for drop-off and pick-up, but the costs are extreme. We’ve had to re-mortgage our house, and there is no way I’ll ever make enough pre-tax to cover the 50k/year it takes to keep my kids in daycare for a full 40 hours a week. As it stands, we’re just hoping we have taken enough money out of our savings and cashed in from our mortgage to keep the kids in school until Kindergarten – which is only a half-day, and at that point, I’ll have to stop working and stay at home.

    As far as saving for retirement, having fun with my kids, and growing my business to the point where I can make a sustainable profit – it’s slow and unsure. The two years when my kids will be in Kindergarten and we’re out of cash for extra care will be rough after all the work I’ve done to build a solid clientele and reputation in the community. I’m not sure what we’ll do when I can’t afford to work again.

    • January 4, 2017 at 12:01 pm #750
      Rachel LRachel L
      Keymaster

      Ashia — I hate that you are dealing with this. And your story is exactly why we have to change the system (and, in many cases, the lack thereof) in the US so that it supports our hard working families. Thanks so much for sharing. And for those reading, stay tuned: Ashia has generously agreed to be interviewed for The Breeding Ground’s new Parents of the U.S. initiative.

  • January 3, 2017 at 1:28 pm #739
    Ashley LAshley L
    Participant

    I recently left my employer in order to find a better opportunity for me that aligned more with career goals AND family goals. I’ve only been in my new position a few weeks, but am already experiencing the benefits of working for a company that adapts to the needs of their employees. By providing trust in me as an employee and allowing me to work from home when needed, I find myself motivated to work even HARDER and sometimes (ironically), longer hours – almost as a way to show them how much I appreciate their flexibility. I really do think this kind of employer adaptability only comes back as a BENEFIT to the company itself once they give their employees a bit more autonomy and trust.

    • January 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm #741
      Rachel LRachel L
      Keymaster

      I could not agree more, Ashley! When companies support employees through family supportive policies, their workers are more loyal and committed in return, and are more engaged and productive at work. Have others experienced this as well?

      • January 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm #805
        Cat MCat M
        Participant

        100%! I’m SO much more appreciative of my work culture than I was before thanks to my ability to have a flexible work schedule!

  • January 2, 2017 at 8:30 pm #728
    Ashliegh LAshliegh L
    Participant

    My name is Ashliegh and I have an almost 13 month old. Prior to a few weeks ago I worked in the medical field full time (part time since I had my son) for almost a decade. My career is now focused on doing per diem work – while working from home as an Administrative Assistant for our church. The reason for this move was because we couldn’t afford for me to go back to work full time (my job demanded it) and pay $2500 for childcare.

    Expenses for care in this country are way too expensive. It should not cost more than a mortgage to get safe and dependable childcare for our kids. Our employers should also be more flexible to allow working mothers to stay part time during the very early years of our children’s lives.

    I was working in women’s health helping people deliver their babies yet as a women’s health practitioner I could not spend the time I wanted with my own baby and make a salary that accommodated such a large price tag for childcare.

    I’m not saying our childcare providers don’t deserve it, but there needs to be more flexibility and options for working moms. Now that I’m working from home (even though my salary is literally half of what I was making) the time I get to spend with my son makes it worth it. And now we don’t have to pay for care. It doesn’t come without serious sacrifices though.

    • January 2, 2017 at 9:25 pm #731
      Rachel LRachel L
      Keymaster

      Thanks so much for sharing, Ashliegh. Childcare is SO expensive in the U.S. — I totally agree it should not cost more than a mortgage (and in many states, more than public college tuition – ouch). And we really need to figure out how to provide more family supportive policies for health care professionals. Nurses and physician assistants, which tend to be female dominated fields, immediately come to mind. Not to mention doctors and the many others working in health care. Would love to hear from others in the health field who have struggled with this (moms or dads). What was your experience, and what have you ended up doing?

  • January 2, 2017 at 6:15 pm #726
    Cat MCat M
    Participant

    I discovered I was pregnant literally weeks after being promoted at my job. This promotion was to Managing Director, which is a position I was essentially being tasked to create for myself as we restricted our staffing model. The upside of this is that I was able to really negotiate for what I really felt I needed as a soon-to-be first time mother. One thing I pushed really hard for was to have a portion of my work week be from home. My daughter is now 10mo and I’m still working from home once per week. I love that my workplace is flexible enough to let me do this and I’m proud of the fact that I’ve laid the groundwork for others to negotiate like this when/ if they need and want to .

    On a personal and parent level, I’m so glad I have this ability and I’m so grateful for my coworkers and their understanding. On a professional level, I’m always trying to find a better way to do this. I love seeing my daughter more during the week, but she can make it hard to focus and get anything done. So my personal struggle and showing coworkers through my output of work on those days that this schedule works for everyone and doesn’t take away from my productivity.

    • January 2, 2017 at 9:13 pm #730
      Rachel LRachel L
      Keymaster

      Cat — so fantastic that you successfully negotiated with your employer to work from home one day per week (and congrats on the promotion, not to mention new baby)! Negotiating for flexible workplace policies can be really intimidating, especially when it’s not something typical at a person’s workplace, so major kudos as well for laying the groundwork at your work. Do you have any tips you could share for others looking to also negotiate something like this?

      • January 18, 2017 at 5:06 pm #804
        Cat MCat M
        Participant

        Negotiating can be so difficult and stressful! I found that what really helped my case was preparing a well thought out proposal with details for how I would manage my time, how this would make me a more effective worker, and how it would actually benefit my workplace. In my case, because having staff with small children is kind of unprecedented, I was able to really discuss making our workplace more generally family friendly from a HR standpoint. For example- Like Ashely has pointed out, I work harder and longer hours on my from home days because I want to prove that being at home doesn’t effect my workflow. But I also feel like it shows my appreciation for the flexibility.

        I was very fortunate to have a lot of understanding and flexibility from our HR committee, so I was able to have a productive back and forth before landing on a plan that worked for everyone.

  • August 14, 2016 at 10:54 pm #207
    Matthew BMatthew B
    Keymaster

    Tell us your opinions, stories and ideas

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