All Articles Tagged "work from home"

Just Because I Work From Home Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Work

April 23rd, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to tgarcia@madamenoire.com. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

Busy/working business woman

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For whatever reason, some people who work traditional 9-to-5 jobs think those of us who collect a check from home are kicking back as if we have a day off and nothing to do. In the words of Maury Povich, the lie detector determined… that was a lie.

As someone who has worked from home for years now, I get it. There are certain perks that come with being a stay-at-home entrepreneur or telecommuter. For starters, you don’t have to worry about what you’re going to wear and whether or not traffic will be a mother heading into the office. I for one was never a heels type of gal and enjoy walking into my office on the daily with leggings and a casual shirt.

Regardless of what you think or heard, working from home isn’t always a walk in the park. Sure it does give you freedom from office drama and a boss breathing down your neck, but my oh my does it come with its own can of worms.

While it might look like I’m living the glamorous life to friends and family, those who are in my inner circle know it comes with a cost. For starters, my hours tend to be longer than most people I know who work in a traditional office. Some of my girlfriends stare at the clock to leave for the day while I’m trying to remember if I made dinner so I can put in a few extra hours. Weekend tasks are an unfortunate but sometimes necessary reality as you might need to do a little more in order to get ahead. Since I run my own show, if something doesn’t get done, it falls on my shoulders to do it. You can’t “milk the clock” and still collect a check. If you don’t deliver, you don’t get paid.

And let’s not even talk about vacations or maternity leave. Those who are business owners or in the freelance world typically have to work on the double in order to cover the days they plan to miss. With five weeks to go in my second pregnancy and plans for celebrating my wedding anniversary out of town, I can’t tell you how many nights I had to burn the midnight oil in order to make sure things will be on auto-pilot. Some of my gal pals who recently had children are fortunate enough to work for jobs that have paid maternity leave. With my first child, I “took off” two weeks. This time around I hope to be able to have at least a month since I’ll have two children under two.

Speaking of children, if you’re a work-from-home mommy, there’s really not much of a break you get. Yes I truly count my blessings when it comes to not paying childcare, but good gracious work days tend to double when you throw a little one into the mix. I actually know a few stay-at-home moms who made the decision to go back to work so they could get a little more peace during the day to concentrate on their jobs.

I’ll never complain about my ability to work from home. I’m living a dream. That doesn’t mean the dream doesn’t come without a cost, or affords me additional hours in the day to kick back and be lazy.

Can anyone else relate?

Has Your Child Influenced Your Small Business Brand?

March 6th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to tgarcia@madamenoire.com. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

Working mom with child

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I’m not the kind of mom who forces people to look at an image gallery of my child so they can tell me how cute he is. I’m also not the parent to post a zillion pictures of him on social media. Yet as much as I try to not be “that person” who’s consumed with their baby (seriously, how can it be helped), I must say that he has certainly influenced my professional life.

I operate in the world of decorating where I provide lifestyle advice and tips for the design aficionados at heart. I guess it’s only natural there would be a shift in my focus considering I am a mother–and desire my home to look nice but also be functional. Having a child has been one of the biggest blessings in my life and surprisingly made me go back to the drawing board when it came to my personal brand. Isn’t it natural my business would evolve too?

Needless to say my target market has expanded. I can now relate to a whole new demographic. There just needs to be a balance so I don’t neglect my intended audience with things that aren’t relevant. Then again, it could lead to a new path I never thought to take.

I can think of so many women who made the decision to leave the corporate world to focus on motherhood, or take their small business in a different direction. For them the decision was pretty simple: to fill a void in product or service to a particular group of people who are often targeted, but not always understood. Because they could relate with their own experiences it became almost effortless to package their ideas into a new business plan.

My son and baby on the way have forced me to think outside the box when it comes to my business and the things I’d like to achieve. Yes I always aim to be the best I can be, but my experiences as a work-from-home mother are unlike anything I have ever experienced. In fact, it has made me think bigger than just one site and a particular industry. I’m currently researching ways to expand and create an umbrella that also covers my new-found sisterhood of mommies. I want to help women in particular who stay at home with their children bring in additional income.

There’s a bigger picture that’s starting to take form. While it’s still a bit blurry, I just needed a few extra pieces of the puzzle in order to see it.

Obviously everyone’s path is different. Some people find inspiration where others don’t and that’s okay too. Maybe your child doesn’t influence your business. At the end of the day you have to do what you think is best for your path.

Related Read Sometimes You Have to Step Away to Move Forward

Why Work-From-Home Moms Need A Standing Appointment With Their Children

February 27th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to tgarcia@madamenoire.com. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

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I’m sure if you read the title of this article you were probably questioning what parent is so busy they need to schedule time with their child. The truth of the matter is all of us can get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle that makes juggling work/life balance a difficult one.

One of the biggest misconceptions about work-from-home moms is our schedules. I guess some folks like to skip over the fact that we do work. Don’t get me wrong, I count my blessings for the opportunity to do what I love and be at home with my family. Aside from saving on expensive childcare costs, it’s nice to see my little 13 month old running around. I just wish I could dedicate more one-on-one time with him throughout the day.

Like a “traditional” job, many work-from-home mommies have a daily routine. And while it can and will vary between individuals, all of us have to give our attention to what we do in order to make money. Once my son turned six months old and started getting into things, I thought about his development and need to socialize. Sure it’s not going to be high on his list of to-dos like a toddler, but it was something to consider. After all, he was at home… every day of the week and weekend. No matter how much I tried to cram into our Saturdays, I felt it wasn’t enough.

I started looking for nearby activities that he could participate in that would reduce his cabin fever. Luckily we’re dead smack in the middle of five libraries that have weekly gatherings for children of all ages. In fact, there were tons of play dates and opportunities to hear a story and play with musical instruments. Knowing myself and my need for order, I started scheduling standing appointments once or twice a week. This would let anyone in my business world know I was out or busy, but in reality, it was non-related work time with my son.

Even though he doesn’t get it (why would he), I can tell he gets excited to get in his car seat and go somewhere. On average, I try to make our adventure at least an hour and dedicate all of my time to play and bonding. Not only does it tire him out (thank you Jesus for naps) but also gives us much needed mommy and child time.

I understand the average working mom might not have this luxury, but if you work flexible hours or call a space at home your office, you have the potential to do the same. As good as my intentions are throughout the day to play with my son, I find it hard to concentrate on deadlines and spending long amounts of time playing with blocks. Sure I have the evenings where my husband and I can really soak in our time as a family, but as a mother who’s at home with her child throughout the day, I don’t want to wait.

If your schedule doesn’t allow you to leave your home, try starting your work day early so you can close down shop a few hours early. This is something I have done since my son was an infant that gives me extra time to unwind and spend with him.

How do you find the balance?

10 Tips To Negotiate Working From Home

November 12th, 2014 - By Taylor Gordon
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Have you wanted a job where you work from home, but never knew how to land one?

There’s good news. Depending on your job, you can request remote work and have it approved by your current employer.

Read on to find out how!

Crack The Whip: 9 Tips To Stay Motivated While Working From Home

August 18th, 2014 - By Michelle Alerte
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For those with the ability to set their own schedule and work in their pajamas, learning to stay motivated is an invaluable asset. You, unlike many others, don’t have a boss breathing down your neck to “get ‘er done,” which is the good news. The bad: no boss means debates between getting a project completed or going to the park for ice cream on a sunny day not only feasible but dangerous to your career. MN understands, and we’re here to help you crack the whip on your motivation and get you focused on even the nicest of days. The ice cream can wait.

You Better Go To The Office! Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Work From Home

August 30th, 2013 - By Tanvier Peart
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Times they have a’ changed with more and more people choosing to work from home. Though it’s definitely not for everybody, many enjoy the effortless commute to their jobs and having the ability to work within a schedule that best fits their needs. Yet it would seem that there are quite a few naysayers who are pushing for people to work less in the home and more in the office.

Here are some reasons why a person should not work from home. Do you agree?

Ditch The Office. The Future Is Freelancing!

August 8th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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If you have been itching to leave the office and freelance, now seems to be the perfect time. According to new surveys from two freelancers’ marketplaces, working independently is the wave of future — and present.

The new data shows that businesses are relying more and more on freelancers. ODesk found that businesses spent more than $1 billion to conduct work using its “online workplace” platform, which features more than four million registered freelancers offering more than 2,000 different skills, reports Yahoo.  Startups, especially, are utilizing freelance workers. According to oDesk data, 58 percent of hires on its platform are made by businesses that call themselves startups.

And it seems no college degree is needed. Online services marketplace Rev.com found that freelancers without a college education earn more than their higher-educated work-from-home counterparts. “Freelance workers without any formal education beyond high school work the most, with monthly earnings nearly three times that of their counterparts with a graduate degree, Rev reports,” writes Yahoo.

Older workers, who tend to be more reliable, work more hours, earning 30 percent more per month than those under 30 (with normalized pay rates), and produce the same quality of work (all ages average 4.5 out of 5 in quality score), found Rev.com.

Freelancing will continue to grow.  Staffing Industry Analysts estimates that the market for online workers will increase to $2 billion by 2014.

 

Is Yahoo Right? Should Employees Not Be Allowed to Work from Home?

February 25th, 2013 - By CAP
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Yahoo employees are livid about a memo that was recently sent from HR to employees and subsequently leaked to the public, revealing that, come June, employees are no longer able to work from home. Those that do will be let go and can stay at home permanently! Although there are only a few hundred employees that work from home full-time, the memo directs anyone who even works from home occasionally to make the transition. It goes as far to say “… for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration.” Geez you can’t even wait for the cable guy?

HR (and CEO Marissa Mayer) justified the drastic decision by saying, “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.” You can check out the memo on AllThingsD. However, most all data implies that reducing employee flexibility can leave an organization divided.

AP Photo/NBC Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

AP Photo/NBC Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

The first thing to consider is how much employees value flexibility in their workplace. In a survey conducted by Mom Corps Houston, 45 percent of the 1,096 working adults who responded to questions about flexibility at work said they would be willing to give up, on average, as much as 8.5 percent of their salary for more flexibility at work.

Another aspect to consider is how productive employees will be while working from home. The numbers are still in favor of allowing flexibility. A study conducted by Stanford University of a Chinese company showed that productivity increased when employees were allowed to work from home. As reported by Forbes 9.5 percent of the increase was due to employees working more hours since there was no commute, fewer distractions, and fewer sick days taken. At home, it’s less likely that employees will be distracted by the discussion of who sang better last night on the Oscars, or taking an extended lunch break and hitting the mall.

The call center employees also took more calls per minute. The same study showed that those who worked from home were 50 percent more satisfied with their jobs and less likely to quit.

Yahoo has been struggling to stay afloat and this is another ploy to get back on the right track. Just last week, Mayer paid a visit to the Today show to unveil the company’s new homepage. That move was later questioned; Yahoo and GMA have a business partnership, and that was Robin Roberts’ first day back on the job. It was a ratings winner… for GMA

Maybe by forcing all employees into headquarters every day they will weed out the least productive employees. One thing is clear: Yahoo employee morale was reduced the moment that memo was sent.

Employees in tech jobs are spoiled when it comes to work flexibility. And with hundreds of competing IT firms in the area that allow flexible work schedules, many employees will be seeking other employment that allows them to work from home.

After the memo was released, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg wrote:

“For anyone who enjoys working from wherever they like in the world, and is interested in WordPress, Automattic is 100% committed to being distributed. 130 of our 150 people are outside of San Francisco.”

The most beneficial work environment is when employees have a mixed presence in the office, working a few days at home and some in the office. This allows you to be able to wait on the cable guy, while also building strong relationships with your coworkers, your managers, and the company as a whole.

Everything You Need to Know About The Home Office Deduction for Your Taxes

March 28th, 2012 - By P.S. Jones
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Whether you’re a kitchen table CEO, a freelancer, or a work-at-home mom, you need somewhere to make the magic happen. Even if you don’t own your own business, you may need a place in your home where you can perform work for your employer. In some cases, that home office can make a difference on your taxes this year.

source: Elev8

The home office deduction is a popular way to decrease your tax bill. Like all deductions, you can subtract the amount you spent maintaining your home office from your total taxable income. The IRS applies your tax rate to your taxable income to determine how much you owe, so the less taxable income you have, the better your return looks.

Requirements

To qualify for the home office business deduction, you need to use that space as your primary and exclusive workspace. Primary means that this is where most of your business happens. Let’s say your employer has an office for you on his property and you have a home office. You can’t take the deduction because your boss already has a primary place for you to conduct business.

Exclusive means that you use this space only for your work. There should be a clearly defined separation between your personal space and your workspace. It doesn’t have to be a separate room or have a partition but it should be easily identifiable.

Percentages

Once you’ve determined that you can take this deduction, you need to figure out the amount of money you can subtract from your taxable income. It’s based on what percentage of your home is dedicated to your home office.

For example, let’s say that you have a 1000 square foot apartment and the room you use for your home office is about 450 square feet. That’s 45 percent of the total area and you can take 45 percent of the resources you spend on your home as a deduction. Now that includes the rent/mortgage of your home, the utilities, and the insurance on the home. Just remember that even if it’s a household expense, it must be used for business use to be deductible. If you have telephone service, you can’t claim a percentage of that service if you don’t use it to make business calls.

More on Madame Noire!

Study Proves Women Prefer Mix of Office and Virtual Work Life

January 17th, 2012 - By Charlotte Young
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by Charlotte Young

For many professionals, chatting around the water cooler at a 9-5 office is quickly changing to a mix of the physical office and virtual work life. It’s a change that comes with both benefits and challenges, the biggest problem being a slower response time. But Forbes reports that a survey by Microsoft Office 365 and 85 Broads found that women prefer to work from home 3.1 days per week as it leads to a better work/life balance. For these women, Forbes has a list of valuable insights to staying ahead when working from home.

One of the biggest problems employees face while working from home is employer skepticism that they are putting in a full work schedule. In efforts to combat any doubt, it’s important to remain transparent about your work habits. Share your calendar with your team or keep a running list of documents in a shared drive so that your colleagues will know what’s been keeping you busy.

Make sure to establish a clear schedule that is as close as possible to your office schedule. This will help your boss, clients and colleagues know when you are available.

Stay available to your business contacts. With a clear schedule in place, make sure to stay online as often as you can. Respond quickly to emails so that your colleagues know you’re there. Check in with your team throughout the day through the phone to effectively respond to their questions. Make phone and online appointments to meet with clients and colleagues just as you would if you were in the office. Don’t wait for your team to call you, stay ahead of the workload by reaching out to your team first.

The most important thing is to make sure you stay focused on your objectives. By working with your manager, you can ensure a clear understanding of the goals and deliverables you must accomplish in your virtual work setting.

For the working woman dealing with children and family concerns, a blend of office and virtual work life may work best. Keeping in mind these tips, these women can stay connected to their professional life and competitive for salary raises and promotion while keeping a closer eye on the little ones.