Work from home for women is a great deal … or is it? COVID 19 has shifted work dynamics and changed the employment landscape. After two years, working from home or a ‘hybrid’ remote/in-office situation has become the norm and has created some job searching challenges.
Studies have found that 70% of women are primarily responsible for managing the household, and 66% of women state that they hold the primary responsibility of childcare. At the same time, people may think that working from home for women provides much-needed flexibility while managing a job, and home responsibilities are still the norm.
Keep these top seven challenges in mind if considering a work-from-home job.
- Balance, balance, balance
We don’t need research to show that women carry out most domestic responsibilities. When the economy has shifted to a remote one, this poses even more challenges, and it is more important than ever to define boundaries when working from home.
Not having boundaries can lead to divided focus, compromised results, and decreasing motivation. Ensure you divide your time between working at home as if you had an outside job and respect those timelines. Turn off the computer and shut the door when you’ve finished for the day!
- Create the Optimum Conditions
Ensure your internet and wi-fi connections are working well and avoid distractions by scheduling appointments and deliveries as if you weren’t there. Have reliable childcare in place – you can’t work and look after your children simultaneously! You may never create a ‘perfect’ home environment. However, managing and scheduling your daily tasks will result in an efficient ‘workplace.’
- Consider Your Career growth
Even in pre-COVID times, women found it more difficult to become a part of informal networks (where critical decisions take shape). Lack of networking and interaction can affect career opportunities, so stay connected with colleagues and research any new groups that could benefit your future employment planning. Now that the business world is ‘opening’ again, you may feel comfortable slowly resuming joining in-person groups.
- Stay Connected
Remote working will look different in different organizations. Some companies might opt for a remote/in-office hybrid workforce combination, and some may continue keeping staff completely remote. Keeping connected is vital to maintaining the ‘social’ aspect of interacting with colleagues and ensuring your voice is being heard. Don’t remain unseen in the background!
- Working From Home Can be Lonely
Know your personality when job searching. Are you the type that can stay self-motivated and work independently, or do you thrive in an environment where you interact formally or informally with your colleagues? The reality is that working from home can result in a lack of social interaction. Most of us are used to working in an office full of coworkers – brainstorming sessions, meaningful discussions, extraordinary ideas, or even the water cooler chats play a huge role in imparting a balanced work-life, so be true to yourself about the way you work best.
- Consider the Cost of Working From Home
Many women do not have a structured home office in place, and working from your kitchen table or bedroom can be disruptive to the rest of the family. Some employers will provide the necessary technology to do your job but consider the cost and available space you have to create an efficient workspace within your home. If you have children, you will have to account for daycare and/or before and after school fees.
- Managing Time is Critical
No different from travelling to and from work, there are still only 24 hours a day, and 15 of them should not be spent working! It can be tempting to get back online after putting the children to bed. However, carving out dedicated home time is essential to overall wellbeing. Set a ‘log off’ time and stick to it! Being an efficient time manager will result in being an effective employee, and gaining back your traditional commute time will allow you more time to spend with family.
If you haven’t connected with an Employment Consultant at Job Skills, NOW is the time to get that one-on-one support you can use as you move through the new way of working. Call Job Skills toll-free at 1-866-592-6278 to connect to one of JS’s experts.
Job Skills has more than 40 online workshops to assist you in your career exploration and job search situation. Register to participate in the online ‘Women in the Workforce’ workshop on June 6, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Watch for the other dates and times to register for any of our online workshops and lots of great links and resources to assist you!