Reality bites for mums who work from home
Being able to work from home is a key benefit to many mums but sometimes the reality can be much harder than expected. New research from E.ON and Mumsnet shows that three quarters (74%) of work-from-home mums face unexpected side-effects of working from home.
The main surprises mums experienced when first starting to work from home include increased messiness around the home (49%), higher energy bills (30%), finding it hard to concentrate on work (43%), and having more washing-up to do (34%).
Whilst being able to spend more time with children is a leading factor for wanting to work from home (49%), it is not always as easy as first thought:
Nearly a third of mums (28%) struggle to juggle their work with caring for their children;
Almost half (44%) worry about balancing deadlines with their children's needs;
47% are concerned about keeping their working hours under control.
Home working can be a great solution for mums once they overcome these challenges, with over three quarters (77%) saying they feel lucky to be able to do so.
To help all work-from-home mums make the transition, E.ON and Mumsnet are working together ahead of National Work from Home Day on Friday 18th May to share tips and advice on best practice.
With increasing household bills a worry for work-from-home mums, Beverley Maguire, Energy Fit Expert at E.ON, said: "We know from our research that the transition to working from home is challenging from both a lifestyle perspective and the practical implications it has on your home. For example, many mums found they were using much more energy in the home with a third (30%) experiencing an increase in their energy bills.
"We'd urge anyone who works from home to check that they're on the right energy tariff for them and also to think about the simple steps they can take to keep their energy use to a minimum. Common sense steps like working near a window for natural light, if possible only heating the rooms in use and not having the TV on in the background when working will all help. We know that there are lots of clever tips that mums across the country are using so we're looking forward to hearing them through the Mumsnet community."
Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet, said: "For its first eight years, we ran Mumsnet from our own homes, so I know very well that while it can be a great solution for lots of mums, there are some challenges too. Mumsnetters and E.ON have come up with some fantastic sanity-saving tips as well as money-saving ideas - everything from making sure you have your own "office" space (ideally with a door you can close) to ensuring your family understand when you are working and that you shouldn't be disturbed!
Mumsnet is keen to support all mums who choose to do paid work in the home, which is why we're offering top tips on best practice for National Work from Home Day 2012."
E.ON and Mumsnet top tips summary for working from home:
1. Create a dedicated workspace with a door to separate work and family-time
2. Take regular breaks
3. Find a work-from-home buddy to help with motivation and support
4. Make best use of technology such as smartphones to increase flexibility
5. Make sure your friends and family respect your working hours
6. Work-up and stick to an effective childcare plan
7. Work-up and stick to a routine for your working hours
8. Prepare yourself mentally for work
9. Communicate your working hours to your employer or clients
10. Get in control of your energy use at home