It an 8 AM on the morning of June 1st, 2005 when I became a mom for the first time.
I recall holding my daughter in my arms for the first time. Meilanya was light as a feather, warm and smelled like pancakes and milk. I remember leaning and lightly touching her skin. She felt heavenly. It is like time stopped, forever. It is like there were two people in the entire world- me and her. I have a picture of that moment in my memory for good.
Becoming a mom changed my life. For the first time, I became acutely aware of my importance and my own mortality. I also became solely responsible for the life of another human being.
While I planned to go back to work after having a baby, I could not bring myself to leave my daughter with anyone, so I quit my job and started thinking about my options. That is how my journey to a Remote Career has begun.
It took me nine years and two degrees from the time when Meila was born to become a teleworker. Today I want to help you to learn more about what is telecommuting and how remote job can benefit you, your family and your career.
What is telecommuting?
Remote and flexible jobs, teleworking or telecommuting is a flexible working arrangement that allows you to work full-time or part-time outside of traditional office environment.
For example, if you come to the office on Monday and Tuesday and work for the rest of the week from home. There are many ways to telecommute to work, and there is no one right way to do it. It is all about what your employer and you can negotiate.
Next, let’s review significant benefits of telecommuting work, whether it is full time remote or part-remote arrangement.
Major Benefits of Telecommuting
1. Time Savings
As a telecommuter, you save precious time.
How is your day looks like today if you work at the office? You wake up, have breakfast, get ready (clothes, make-up, gather your belongings, get in the car), drive to the office, walk into the building, turn on your computer, get settled. Even if you live right next to your office, this will take some time.
Now, how is my day looks like when I telecommute to work? I wake up, grab a glass of water, walk to another room in my house (home office), close door, open my laptop, connect to VPN and voila- I am at work! Seamless transition from personal to professional in a matter of seconds.
You just skipped all the commuting, getting ready and switch overtime loss! Who keeps this extra time you did not waste? You and your family. Now you have additional minutes and hours to spend with your loved ones. If you, like me, have young kids, that time, once wasted is gone forever and NO amount of money can give you the time back! Do not squander it.
2. Money savings
Depending on your per hour rate, commute to your work office may be a costly proposition
Allow me to explain via a real-life example. Let`s say, you are an Information Technology Project Manager.
- you work five days per week, 4.5 weeks per month= roughly 22.5 days per month
- your commute takes 45 minutes one way or 1.5 hours roughly per day
- your hourly pay rate is $45/hour
- Impact of commuting = 22.5 days X 1.5 hour= 33.75 hours
- Time loss: you lose approximately 34 hours of your time monthly
- Financial loss: your time is worth $45/hour x 33.75 hours= $1519 monthly
- Added stress: depending on the traffic in your city, commuting can be very uncomfortable, stressful or downright dangerous!
3. Improved work-life alignment
Each one of us, me and you included have our biological rhythms. For example, I like to work early in the morning. I can wake up at 5 am and get so much work done before anyone in my household even wakes up. Maybe you are most productive in the late morning, late at night or in the afternoon. We all are different.
When you have an 8 am to 5 pm job, those subtle personal corks and differences are unaccounted for. We all are very, very different and we need a diverse working environment to be effective.
For example, I love to work in public places like coffee shops, airports and such. In busy environments, I feel included, creative and engaged. I do not think the same if I am alone.
However, I know many people that love being alone in the office and have absolute silence, and that is where they produce the best results. Great. As a telecommuter, you can define where, when and how you work. You are managed by objective and whether you delivered results, not by several hours you spent in the office chair.
4. Opportunity to grow your skills and develop professionally
Do not take me wrong; I love my kids. There is nothing more rewarding on Earth than being a mom of three kids. My kids today are 4, 9 and 13 and they do demand my time, my energy and my attention 24/7, non-stop.
That said, at times, I feel professionally and cognitively deprived. When I stayed home with them and before I started working again, there were days when I craved an adult conversation. I wanted to learn, dress up and engage with adults. I craved to accomplish meaningful results and earn income. I wanted to be seen.
Since I started telecommuting, the first time five years ago I was able to grow professionally and develop my skills while raising my kids.
As you know employment gaps are looked down on by HR managers and most companies. Additionally, there is a risk of your skills becoming outdated, while you stay home raising your family. Telecommuting solves all these challenges. You can learn new skills, work and be a mom.
5. Second household income and reduced financial risk
Your spouse is a primary breadwinner, and he makes enough to afford a comfortable living for the entire family. This may be true today, but what happens if he loses his job (fired, laid off), or becomes unable to work for health reasons? Think about how your family, you and your kids would be impacted if the primary source of your income would be gone today? What would happen? How would you pay your bills?
The second income, even if it is significantly smaller than your spouse will provide for comfort and extra assurance for your family. You may be able to afford a family vacation, trip back home to see your original family or nicer things for your kids.
6. Better lifestyle and earlier retirement
Lastly, once you start earning money as a telecommuter, you will have a real opportunity to continue building your retirement savings. It is a well-known fact that women tend to postpone their contribution to their retirement while they work part-time jobs, staying home while raising a family and wait for the “right time” to start saving.
I have news for you, Ladies. Do not wait, seriously, once you land that job first thing I want you to do is to open a savings account with your name on it and start saving right away. Yes, of course, extra income from a second job will get you more money to pay the bill, but for a moment, think about your own future. Make a trip to your bank and ask how you can start saving and retire early.
By now you may think that remote jobs are fantastic and you can not wait to start looking or one. Ok, I have to be honest, it is not all peaches and butterflies when it comes to teleworking. I personally love part-time remote jobs, since I think, they save me time, stress and money. They also allow me to be there for my kids and spend more time with my loved ones.
My next post will address the challenges of working remotely and how you can overcome them.
Thank you for reading my posts and stay tuned!
Happy working and please comment, ask questions and share my posts with your friends.
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