Hailed as the perfect career path, working from home is as rewarding as it is challenging. Moms all over the world gladly jump at the first opportunity to work from their homes, consequently spending more time with their little nestlings and finally having more time to cook those healthy meals. But, with the perks come the hurdles, although that should deter a working mom to stay stuck in the office, but consider the following potential risks before and during your home working endeavours, in order to protect your health, enjoy your job to the fullest and have more energy for all your intertwined roles.
We have digitalized our lives to the extent that there’s an unspoken expectation to be constantly available. This is especially easy to see in people whose jobs are creative, and who adjust their schedule not only to their workload, but their inspiration and other circumstances. But it becomes a drain on your mental and physical energy to respond to emails perpetually, and a burden rather than a pleasure. While you don’t need the nine-to-five office hours, you can “impose” certain limitations on yourself. Create a schedule for each responsibility, and a timeframe for its completion. Strive to stick to those limitations, simply because it will help you relieve some of that pressure of endless availability –there’s really no need for you to be on call constantly, unless you work as 24/7 tech support.
The sheer fact that you spend your work time and your fun and family time in the same space causes a dissonance in perception. We often start seeing our work as an indelible part of our identity, thus letting it consume most, if not all our time, which in turn causes significant amounts of stress. So, create your own boundaries, and make them clear, physical and very professional. It would be ideal to find a room to serve as a dedicated office space, preferably with a door. Decorate the space with job-related items only, and make sure that you don’t use the same area for watching movies, or any other form of fun, so that the boundaries remain clear.
We all enjoy our alone time, with a book or walking in the park, but when you spend the majority of your day physically separated from the rest of humanity, it becomes emotionally difficult not to feel lonely, especially if you’re a social butterfly by nature. In time, this can cause severe setbacks, various forms of anxiety, and even lead to depression. To minimize the risks of lone-wolf business adventures, do your best to enjoy some good old social interaction on a regular basis. Make it your priority to work in a shared office space, or set up a “coffee date” with a friend of similar occupation to share a workstation for a few hours every week.
Sneaky problems don’t stop at the aforementioned emotional or psychological level, on the contrary! As a mom who already spends much of her time caring for your family, you might find yourself experiencing difficulties you’d gladly avoid, such as eye strain, headaches and blurred vision from too much time staring at the computer screen. Prevention is key, and that’s something Australian moms know, since they are well aware of the importance of keeping their vision healthy. Those living in Sydney usually visit a certified optometrist in Hornsby to get protective eyewear that best fits their needs. Also, don’t skip regular doctor’s appointments, adjust your lighting and your monitor, make sure you have the right prescription, and always make sure you have your glasses or lenses with you.
Slouching and sitting for hours on end is the modern-day plague, and since every mom spends much of her time bending, picking up toys, carrying her babies and of course, all this movement (or the lack thereof) wreaks havoc on your wellbeing. Support is essential, so take your time when choosing the right chair to maintain your back health, provide lumbar support, decrease spinal compression, and find a desk that is of the right size for your needs and to maintain proper posture.
Even the smallest changes can make a difference for your health, give you much more energy, increase your productivity, and not to mention that your mom-dventures will be all the more enjoyable with a well-developed work environment!