I’ve discovered both expected and hidden benefits to my work and family in the 14 years I’ve been working from home.
When my girls were young, I could only picture the benefits of working from home that were immediately obvious. I didn’t know what it was going to be like once they were in their teens.
When I started out, I had anticipated that working from home meant I wouldn’t have to find care for the kids when they were sick or organise holiday programs or stayovers for them. I was aware of advantages such as having the flexibility to attend something important at school.
I found I was able to share in the things that my girls did each day – each afternoon after school they would come into the office to say hello and tell me what they’d been doing. I never experienced that when I was working a job – their day had moved on by the time I got home each night!
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As my girls entered their teen years new challenges arose. Some had friends going through difficult times, friends who made unwise decisions. Often these were the teens with no parents at home. One would get locked out till mum or dad came home, so they came to our place to use the facilities and get something to eat whilst they waited.
I like to think that choosing to work from home all those years ago meant it wasn’t only my children who benefited from that decision, but also the many friends that chose to come home with them, too. It wasn’t unusual to have a parent say to me how much they appreciated that I opened my home to their children.
If you’re undecided about working from home, search for those added, hidden benefits to your work and family that you hadn’t considered. Talk to people you know who are already doing it and ask them questions. If you’re in two minds whether to take that plunge, I hope the above helps you to decide what you’re going to do. I’ve had my ups and downs – everyone in business does. But I know for sure that working from home means I’m better off… and so are my girls!