How Virtual Offices Can Set Mom Free

CHICAGO-Yesterday, we looked at a CareerBuilder survey that explored how working moms balance their jobs with their home life. We’ll continue looking at this topic today from a different perspective—financial pressures.

According to the survey, financial pressures are playing a key role in how moms are managing time at work. Thirty-nine percent of working moms and 43 percent of working dads in the survey reported that they are the sole financial provider in their household.

But there's a disparity that makes it more difficult for working moms. Working dads who are the sole breadwinner were almost twice as likely to earn $50,000 or more and were approximately three times as likely to earn six figures as working moms. Women were much more likely to earn less than $35,000 compared to men.

"As more moms assume the sole or primary breadwinner role in their households, they're feeling increasingly torn between providing financial security for their families and having quality time at home," says Hope Gurion, Chief Development Officer at CareerBuilder, and mother of two. "The pay disparity between working moms and dads has improved over the years, but is still significant. More working moms are seeking out second jobs to supplement incomes and flexible work arrangements to afford more family time."

What can working moms do to find a better work-life balance? Obviously, we believe working from a virtual office at least part time can help. But CareerBuilder experts offer some additional tips beyond virtual office technologies--and even incorporate them.

Go in with a game plan: The vast majority of working moms who have taken advantage of flexible work arrangements—such as working from a virtual office—said it hasn't negatively impacted their careers. Talk to your supervisor or HR department and explore options. Make sure to come to that conversation with a game plan on how you can manage workload, cover responsibilities, etc.

Keep an "I'm Fabulous" file: Keep track of all of your accomplishments within the organization, quantifying results whenever possible, and list out the additional responsibilities you have taken on in the last year. It helps you to build your case when negotiating for a better salary or consideration for promotion with your employer. It can also help sway the decision to allow you to work in a virtual office.

Get organized: Structure in your life will save you time, stress and mental energy. Keep one calendar for business and family commitments to avoid double-booking. Set up a schedule for chores, homework, family activities and playtime.

Remember quality over quantity: Make the most of your personal time. When you're home, it's all about them. Wait until after the children go to bed before checking email or finishing up that presentation. If you work from a virtual office, you have the flexibility to workshift.

Schedule "me time": Working moms need to take care of themselves too. Put actual time on the calendar for an hour or more of doing something you enjoy such as going to the gym, taking a walk, reading, etc.


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