Telecommuting for the Professional Mom

Professional moms may be the single largest group that can benefit from telecommuting. Prior to the development of cloud computing, well qualified moms left the workforce to attend to domestic matters. With a virtual office, this doesn’t have to be the case and businesses are better off for it.

The Changing Times

How great is telecommuting for mom? To quote an LA Times article: “She can bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan … at the same time!

Thanks to the advent of telecommuting, moms have opportunities that, until now, were inaccessible. The trick has been to convince their employer that they can remain productive while working from home.

For tips on how to convince your boss to allow you to telecommute, check out this post at CNN.com. For a more detailed idea, this post over at QuintCareers.com may be more what you’re looking for. There are many more advice articles for convincing your boss out there, but chances are, he or she is already considering adding telecommuting to the company benefits package.

The Virtual Office: Mom’s Best Friend

For any mom, being home with their newborn, infant or toddler is a blessing beyond compare. The fact that they are also not losing their skills in the workplace is perhaps even more important in the long run. After all, raising their kids may be a life’s ambition, but putting them through college weighs somewhere on the back of their mind (and heavily), even at these early stages.

With the downtrodden economy and rising unemployment it is a well reported fact that a worker’s skills atrophy after only six months outside of the workplace. The same holds true for moms on maternity leave or those that are stay at home. Thanks to telecommuting, this atrophy can be eliminated. So, even if mom decides to return to the office in the future, there is virtually no learning curve, just a slight lifestyle adjustment.

Further increasing the value of telecommuting to a mother is the ability to be at home when their child is sick or breastfeeding. A mom may choose to have a nanny come into the house to watch over the baby while she is attending to her business duties, but whenever baby needs attention, mama is close at hand.

The Challenges

The largest challenge, according to the LA Times, which quotes the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, is that working from home may actually make mom feel guilty. To be fair, any new mother suffers endless guilt at the hands of the dreaded ‘what if’ list. Some of this is because of the sleep that is lost to the baby and some is because of the hormonal deluge, both natural side-effects of motherhood.

Aside from an innate guilt complex (nature’s way of staying true to baby) mothers face the same challenges of any other teleworker. Fielding phone calls from home, changing a diaper and meeting a deadline, balancing wellness checkups with work scheduling, and the list goes on.

Challenges Aside, Telecommuting is a Winning Combination for Families

Even with the added challenges of motherhood, the virtual office is a wonderful fit for mothers. It’s also a wonderful fit for the devoted husband willing to work from home now and again to give mom a break.

Keep in mind that this post is written for mothers who are carrying on their professional duties at the same company they were employed with during the pregnancy. For those moms looking to get into the work at home field, do your due diligence, there are more than a few scams targeting you out there. All work over the internet can have its pitfalls, but with some basic common sense and motherly intuition you’ll be fine. Here’s a good resource for stay at home moms (and dads) in this latter situation: Home With the Kids.com.

Let us know what you think. Are you a telecommuting mom or know someone who is? How are they handling it and what are their tricks of the trade? Begin the discussion with a comment below or we’d be happy to carry the conversation on over at our Facebook page.