Before the pandemic, did you occasionally or often work from home? Is that something you had to negotiate with your employer, or does your company have a policy that allows (or encourages) employees to work from home? If you telecommute for part of...

Working from home has trade-offs for sure: dealing with fewer interruptions vs. feeling isolated from coworkers (and people in general!), avoiding a long commute vs. having trouble separating your work life from your home life, and so on. 

Our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series has become a reader favorite over the years (and we’re always looking for submissions!), and we’re taking advantage of the many posts we’ve published to highlight the info and advice these working moms have generously shared.

So far, we’ve shared working moms’ tips on managing au pairs and using grandparents as caregivers. Today we’ll share Week in the Life reader tips on working from home, which of course is especially relevant right now…

{related: our best advice on working from home}

Here are seven working moms from our Week in the Life series who work at home frequently: 

H., an in-house counsel in the South, with a husband and two sons

R., an associate professor in Norway, with a husband who is also an associate professor and one son

L., a federal government attorney in Washington, D.C., with a husband who is a biotech executive and one son

J., a supervisory IT specialist in Washington, D.C., with a husband who is a teacher, and a daughter

C., a family law attorney in Minnesota, with a husband working on a doctorate in educational leadership and three kids 

Laurie, an accountant in New Jersey, with a husband who’s a graphic designer and two kids

Mindy B., a part-time attorney in a Detroit suburb, with a husband who travels frequently for work and a teenage daughter 

Working Moms’ Tips on Working from Home

Here are some of the details of how these moms work from home regularly:

 Use Midday for Chores, Errands, and Workouts

One mom fits in chores and errands throughout the day, such as picking up groceries and birthday gifts. Because she finds it difficult to work out in the evenings, she tries to do it midday when possible. 

Work from Home in the Morning, Office in the Afternoon

Another reader often works from home in the morning and goes to work in the afternoon; she says that her colleagues got used to the arrangement when her son began attending daycare that required a graduated start and she couldn’t be in the office for full days.

Work from Home A Set Day or Two Each Week

A few of the moms have particular days or a number of days they work from home each week. One works from home two days a week (and has done so since before she became a mom); another does so on Thursdays (the same day as her husband); and another WFH on Fridays with her kids at home (to save on childcare costs). 

Other Details from Moms Working from Home:

On one WFH day, one reader was able to have breakfast with her husband (not a normal occurrence for her) and later do some dinner prep at home during her lunch hour. 

One mom works from home all the time; she is a lawyer who works part time in litigation.

Another reader has a job that’s “technically” work-from-home but finds working from home difficult; she says there are too many distractions and that it’s hard for her to stay focused. She often uses an empty cubicle at the office to give her day more structure and be more productive. 

Thoughts from Working Moms Who Work at Home

Here’s what these readers had to say about working from home successfully:

“Without the support of my parents and sisters, I would not be able to keep my kids with me while I work from home. During the school year, if I have to make a phone call, my mom or one of my sisters will keep my kids so that I can focus 100% of my attention on that call. During the summer months, my husband will keep the kids away from my home office so that I can have quiet as well. Equally as important is the support that I get from my employer and my paralegal that allows me to be home with my kiddos during the workweek.” 
“No negotiation was needed [to work from home one day a week]. It was rolled out to my department first as a pilot program and then later was adopted by the entire organization. One requirement is that the day of the week must remain the same. I picked Thursday, since it’s a nice way to start wrapping up the week, particularly when combined with ‘summer hours,’ (which run from the end of May—Sept.) that allow us to work only a half-day on Fridays.”
“The luxury of working at home has helped to ease traditional working-mom guilt, because I actually am available to participate in many of the events other parents cannot. … Because she sees me working, she is very sensitive to when I can’t make the dinner I promised, for example, when something pops up that I have to prepare or edit. This is a great benefit I could never have anticipated. Having her see me working as she’s grown up almost has taken away the mystique of a career, in a good way.”

Pre-pandemic, did you work at home? If so, how often? What advice on working from home would you share other CorporetteMoms readers? If you’ve been working from home during the pandemic, is that something you hope to continue when life gets back to “normal”? 

The post Working Moms’ Tips on Working at Home appeared first on CorporetteMoms.

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