Photo taken on 19 March 2015 (Amelie at 5 mths 2 wks)
I have been working with a company for 18 years and for the past 7 years, I have been working full time from home. I switched from a consulting job to a desk-bound program support job which enabled me to work from home full time and support the Asia Pacific region. Cool eh? I think so! My kids were 3yo and 1yo then and I knew I wanted to spend those precious growing years with them and not having to depend on anyone else to care for them. So when I got this job, I thanked God and my colleague, Agnes because she was the one who roped me into her team.
Here are some tips if you’re considering to work from home.
Working from home does not mean that you can sit at home, shake your legs and catch the latest Korean drama Yes – unfortunately for some. If you’re in the IT line like me, make sure that you start work on time and I know some may say that this is ridiculous but it’s also important to know when to stop working as well. When I work from home, I am very productive because I already safe time to get ready for work and to commute to and from work and there have been many times that I work through lunch as well. When I am engrossed in work, I don’t usually like to stop until I’m done and there have also been many a times where I log off work way past office hours. Hence that is why we got to be discipline about our working hours. My main intention was for me to spend some quality time with the kids as well. Hence I make it a point to finish work by 6:00 – 6:30pm so that I can give my domestic helper a break and bring the kids out to play.
DO NOT DISTURB sign.
This is very useful especially when you have kids in the house. I get very stressed up when my kids bug me when I’m hosting a call. Teach them to not enter the room or be quiet when the sign is up.
Hire a domestic helper.
If you can afford it, hire a domestic helper. I couldn’t do without one because it was tough having to cook in between work and school runs and now that we have AK, we need a domestic helper to take care of AK’s needs.
Invest in a good headset – wireless if possible.
This is important because if you’re going to be in conference calls for at least 30 mins, the last thing you want it to be holding the handset to your head. Therefore, it’s important that you invest in a good headset with the ability to mute your line. This way you are still able to multi-task e.g. type or help your little one tie her ponytail, or wipe the dirt of your kid’s face…or if you have a wireless headset – well..the possibilities are endless right? Just remember to mute that line when you are not supposed to be talking!
Block out time in your calendar.
In between work, I need to step to for my school run and this timing is fixed and has been shared with my manager and peers. I also block off my time in Microsoft Outlook for school runs so that my colleagues will know that I will be out of office at specific times of the day.
Ensure that your workspace is ergonomic.
If you’re going to be spending 8-10 hours of your day sitting in front of a computer, make sure your workspace is ergonomic. We are all given a notebook to work from but since I am a teleworker, I am able to order additional accessories for my notebook which include a docking station, monitor stand and a 24 inch monitor so that I can comfortably work in front of the computer (like a geek).
Remember to take mini breaks and stretch or go for a little walk to get that blood circulating. Give your kids a hug, spend some time with them during your break. It’s important that they are not neglected as well because the whole idea to work from home is so that you can spend quality time with the kids right?
Working from home is great because :
1. I don’t dread going to work the night before. Sundays don’t feel as crappy as before with impending work the next day.
2. I don’t need to wake up extra early to get ready for work.
3. I don’t need to commute to work and brave the traffic jams!
4. I get to eat home cooked food for breakfast and lunch everyday and that saves money too.
5. And of course I get to see my kids as and when I want too.