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The idea of working from home evoked, until a few years ago, the idea of babysitting for hours, knitting pull-overs, or doing some other craft.
Today, with the information technology revolution, a huge range of possibilities opened up to explore different business opportunities with different types of professional, business and even franchise work, without leaving the home environment, with little more than a personal computer and a full-time Internet connection.
This modifies the lives of everyone and, especially, that of women.
It substantially modifies the way of approaching an enterprise since, on the one hand, it facilitates the ever-pressing issue of making family and work compatible and, on the other, it requires an absolute and definitely lower initial investment.
It is obvious that the costs are very different when you think about renting and setting up an office than when you can prepare a section of the house for this purpose.
Today far from the paradigm of those pseudo nursery schools of the 1960s (a neighbor of good will who conditioned the garage of the house to take care of children), today more than 4.5 million women run their businesses from home only in the United States and the trend continues to rise.
What are the businesses that can be done from home?
The range is wide: consultancies of all kinds (public relations, accounting, IT …), online marketing, design (graphic, web), preparation of journalistic content, virtual secretariat for other professionals, promotion and sale of goods and services, small telemarketing jobs, online training and the list goes on….
Obviously, beyond the capabilities that the activity to be carried out requires, online work requires certain specific skills emerging from the new medium. Training is essential but not inaccessible at all.
The courses flourish inside and outside the universities and, why not, after a basic learning for those who have never seen a computer before, it is possible to face the online training itself.
Pros and Cons of working from home
We said at the beginning of this note that this new way of working facilitates the compatibility of professional activity with family activity. This is very true, if we know how to set the limits that correspond, both to the family itself and to the clients.
Otherwise, there will be the risk of not dedicating the necessary time to professional activity or, at the other extreme, working indiscriminately until any time, every day of the week.
In short, although it is necessary to have efficient time management in all activities, it is never truer than when we work at home.
It is good that the boys understand that mom, even if she is at home, is working and, most difficultly, that the husband also understands it.
For enterprising moms, separating the waters will be preferable, having a private space that is accepted by others as “the office” and a separate telephone line, with an answering machine and explicit business hours.
With a little self-discipline, you will get used to “closing” your office door after a certain time and letting the answering machine take over that phone that rings during dinner.
That way, you will avoid receiving work calls at all hours. This will allow you the usual rest and avoid annoying situations with the family, which also needs your time.
The bottom line is that your family respects your work time, and that your clients respect your family’s time.
Remember that when it comes to setting limits, it is always better to do it from the beginning by setting clear and reasonable rules, then it is more difficult.
One last observation, working at home is sensational, but it requires a high amount of self-discipline, planning a schedule and sticking to it, since we constantly run the risk of going out to cut the grass, talk a bit with the neighbor, or watch that movie that just Today they give on TV at 3 in the afternoon.