September 29th, 2009

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  • BusinessWeek – Startup Jump Starters
  • Entrepreneur – Mompreneur defined
  • StartUpNation – The 8 Things You Need to Make a Home-Based Business Work!
  • Wall Street Journal – Freedom, Not Money, Drives Start Ups
  • Entrepreneur – Top Resources for Mompreneurs
  • Entrepreneur – It’s a Mom’s World
  • SmartMoney.com – Becoming a Mompreneur
  • Central Valley Business Times – Working mothers have it all
  • Parents – Home Office Essentials
  • DrLaura.com – So You Want to Work from Home?
  • iVillage Live TV Show
  • Entrepreneur – The New June Cleavers
  • Nashville Parent – Shhh Mom’s Got to Work
  • Working Mother – Working Mother Group Directory
  • OC Metro – Home-Based Business Scams
  • Entrepreneur – Wanna Be a Mompreneur?
  • CBS News
  • More.com – Working at Home: Tips for Success
  • CSM - Mom’s New Ballgame: Career at Home
  • Also featured in Forbes, USA Today, Home Office Computing, Parenting, Business Start-Ups, Baby Magazine, Family PC, Mothering, American Baby and many others!

For Articles for Reprint by HBWM Founder Lesley Spencer Pyle please Contact Us

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November 8th, 2017

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Juggling the responsibilities of career and family life can feel like working two full-time jobs at once. For moms who work at home, the lines between home and the office can disappear completely, making it hard to escape work mode. Is there a woman in your life who deserves a reward for all the hard work she does? Instead of buying her new clothes or a book she doesn’t have time to read, consider treating her to an experience and some time away from the daily grind.

Whether it’s a night of stand-up comedy, great seats to see her favorite team play or tickets to a big show, give the lady in your life a break from her routine, and a reminder that you appreciate her every single day. Consult our roadmap below to gift the work-at-home mom in your life with a little time to relax and have fun.

1)    Pick your location: Destination or nearby? Depending on your budget and schedule, you may want to whisk her away for a weekend in the big city. If you’re going all out, it doesn’t get any better than dinner followed by a Broadway show and a stay in a downtown hotel. And if the babysitter can’t cover a quick night to NYC to see an acclaimed musical, there are Broadway productions all across the country. Check out local venues to see shows, artists and acts that will be coming to town.

2)    Set the tone: Calm and relaxed or time to party? A night of ballet or theater would be the perfect escape from a busy life for some women. Others want to dance the night away at a rock concert. Fortunately, there’s an event for every taste. If you’re not sure what she’d like, ask her a few questions about what she’d do with a night off (and be prepared for her to tell you she’d like to sleep). You won’t ruin the surprise, and you’ll feel confident knowing you’re picking something she will truly enjoy.

3)    Choose the guest list. Will this be a romantic evening for two, a girls’ night out, or a mother-daughter bonding date? She might enjoy seeing her friends, but it would be special to see the show as a couple. Coordinate with her pals to meet up for drinks afterward and she’ll have twice the surprise.

4)    Don’t make it seem like more work for her. This one is huge. Work around her busiest work days, arrange for babysitters, and figure out a way to help her take a night off without falling behind or feeling stressed. Don’t hesitate to reach out to her friends or close family members to help you pull it off. They will be glad to pitch in and share the surprise.

5)    Consider leaving her at home alone. That’s right—for some busy working moms, a quiet, child-free night at home with a good book and a cup of tea might just be the perfect escape. If that’s the case, think about taking the kids to an event yourself while letting mom have the house to herself for a few hours.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect event for the hard-working mom in your life, consider how to surprise her with the news. Here are a few simple, creative ways to let her know she’s in for a treat:

  • Leave the tickets somewhere she’ll find them unexpectedly, like in her favorite coffee mug, next to her toothbrush, or on her car windshield.
  • Get the kids involved. Maybe a kiddo can bring home a “note from the teacher” that really details the plans for the big day.
  • Heading to see her favorite band play live? Buy her their newest album, and tuck the tickets inside.
  • Feeling bold? Find a sitter and invent an errand to run with her, then let her know that you’re actually going out to dinner and a show.

She’s passionate about her job and her kids, but every mom needs a break sometimes. No matter what event you choose, the lady in your life will be grateful for such a thoughtful gift. It’s the perfect way to show her you care, whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary or “just because.” Give a mom you love the gift of a little free time and a few great memories.

 

About the Author

Adam Young, the founder and CEO of Event Tickets Center, often surprises his loved ones with event tickets—and he doesn’t mind being on the receiving end of this thoughtful gift, either.

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October 3rd, 2017

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You’ve embarked on family road trips before, so you have the basics of planning down, but now you have a new X factor: a teenager. The very mention of a road trip with the family is enough to make most teenagers plug in their headphones and drown you out with angsty music. You know if you could just get their buy-in, your teen could not just tolerate, but really get into a family adventure.

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One of the easiest ways to get a teenager excited about a trip is to have some really unique and exciting activities planned beforehand. Here are three activities to include in your next road trip that will have your teen racing to get into the car, rather than pulling the covers over their head.

1. Visit an Escape Room

There is a reason escape rooms are popping up all around the country; everyone from grandmas to grumpy teens loves them. On a road trip, an escape room is a great chance to be active, and interact with each other away from the stress of the road. Of course, not all escape rooms are created equal. If you’re passing through Kansas City on your trip, check out Tick Tock Escape Games. The completely immersive rooms use sound, video and other technology to make you feel like you’ve stepped into a movie. You can spend an hour in Uncle Beasley’s den, solving elaborate puzzles for a chance to win a portion of his estate in the Beasley’s Billions’ game, or get locked in an Egyptian tomb where you’ll need to decode clues and puzzles before the tomb door is sealed forever in Pyramid Paradox. Either way, this will be an experience both you and your teen won’t soon forget.

2. Go Wherever the App Takes You

One of the best parts of a road trip are those spontaneous stops, where you pull over just because something struck your fancy. Of course, technology has made finding those hidden gems much easier. Set aside a day where any and all stops are on the table.

Download the free Roadtrippers app and let it guide you to places like the Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley, Arizona, which is the only place where you can get close to a Titan II ICBM, a missile that could launch a nuclear warhead. Or Gene Cockrell’s yard art in Canadian, Texas, where you can see the impressively weird collection of concrete statues (from dinosaurs and aliens to Jesus) made by Gene himself. Make a rule that you’ll stop for anything that sounds interesting, no debate. Your teen will love the spontaneity and freedom (and, of course, the Instagram-worthy shots).

3. Go Wild

You can’t truly get to see the country unless you get out into it. Have your teen help you find a few natural wonders along the way and stop as often as possible to smell the roses (and take in the view). Even a kid who isn’t outdoorsy can’t help but be impressed by the overlook on the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine, or Salt Creek Falls in the Cascades in Oregon, both of which can be reached by car.

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September 27th, 2017

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Understanding the ins and outs of on-demand software can be daunting for those just starting a home-based business or solopreneur venture. In fact, there are hundreds of tools at your disposal, and knowing which ones are essential can initially be difficult to identify. However, do know you’ll wind up paying for a handful of essential subscription-based services within a few months of building your business.

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Because some of these software as a service platforms will be the lifeblood of your business, you’ll no doubt access them every day and become completely fluent with this technology. Meantime, your other SaaS-based apps will die a slow death: You’ll forget your login, dislike the interface, and get hassled by support reps when you try to cancel your subscription.

While these scenarios may be impossible to avoid, your best bet is to focus on the tools that will help support and leverage various aspects of your business. Here are some of the best SaaS solutions that moms who work from home can utilize to achieve better productivity, automation and financial success.

Productivity and Automation

  1. Pomodoro Technique apps: The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that uses a timer to break down work into more productive time intervals, typically 25 minutes at a time. Despite its intuitive benefits, using the Pomodoro Technique isn’t a common practice in most workplaces. But there are plenty of apps to get you started, including:
    • Focus Booster – This simple timer app is easy to use and customize for any work-related task.
    • PomoDonePomoDone – This popular app can connect with other tools like Trello, Asana and Slack.
    • Pomodoro Keeper – This app features a useful mobile timer option for iPhone users.
    • Marinara Timer – This app provides a unique URL after each use, creating more seamless workflows.
  2. IFTT: You’re likely familiar with the concept, “If this, then that.” Similarly, this free, web-based service allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called applets, which are triggered by the actions you take on other websites, including Gmail, Facebook and Twitter. By using this service on the following platforms, you can
    • LinkedIn – Automatically send welcome messages and meeting invitations to any new connection request
    • Twitter – Automatically send thank you tweets to those who retweet or mention you
    • Facebook – Automatically share Facebook posts on other social networks, or “like” content that meets certain requirements
  3. Zapier: If you master IFTT and want to create a more customized connection, Zapier is your go-to tool. This tool connects you with more than 750 apps, allowing you to create an easy customized workflow, as opposed to IFTT which has a limited bank of apps from which to choose. The tasks that take up the most time, but have the least financial value, should be automated whenever possible.
  4. Use case: If you use software to take calls via a cloud contact center, you can create what’s referred to as a “zap” that can transcribe your voicemails. That’s particularly useful when important and/or sensitive information is shared via voicemail and you don’t have the time or resources to jot it down.
  5. Email marketing – Your desire to have a better sense of your customers’ needs and wants can be achieved through this type of customized messaging. Whether your email marketing strategy has you sending two or more emails per week or simply the occasional newsletter, the ball is truly in your court regarding the frequency of your messaging. Of course, there are dozens of platforms from which to choose. Your best bet might be conducting a Google search or asking fellow work-from-home professionals about their experiences.

Financial Management

All the productivity and focus in the world won’t mean anything if you’re not managing your finances correctly. There are two main components of financial management for small and home businesses.

Accounting and Taxes - Software tools like Quickbooks, Freshbooks and Xero have exploded during the past decade, thanks in large part to the fact that more people are working for themselves. As such, they need basic accounting software to remain in business. Similar to email marketing, there are a core set of features — in addition to price and support — to keep in mind.

  • Reporting and analysis - All accounting software has its own spin on why it has the best reporting features. Make sure you understand the “how” and “why” behind the reporting and that there are visual breakdowns of everything.
  • Customization - Again, all accounting tools will offer customization, but making sure you understand how these features will apply to your business is the more critical element in all this.
  • Automation - The elimination of paperwork and human error is the basis for investing in new accounting software, so make sure to adopt a SaaS tool that requires very little in the way of manual entry.
  • Integrations - For successful automation, your software will need to integrate with your business tool set, such as tracking or calendar features.
  • Scalability and expandability - Switching software is tedious, so make sure your accounting system is ready to grow and scale with your business.
  • Security - Whenever financial data is involved, security is vital. With that in mind, look for certifications from the TRUSTe Privacy Program and VeriSign.
  • Invoicing and payment processing - Depending on your business, this category may require a separate tool. For instance, Stripe and Recurly are SaaS apps meant for business owners who offer a recurring payment option. There’s also a full market of invoicing tools depending on the complexity needed.

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September 11th, 2017

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Feel like you can’t start your own business with loans and investors? It might take less money than you think. According to a survey by Intuit, most small businesses start with $10,000 or less. That’s good news for small business owners who think they need hundreds of thousands to get their company up and running. But $10,000 is still a big chunk of change. You can bootstrap your business paycheck by paycheck while still making your startup seem bigger than it really is. Here’s how.

Working woman

Restrategize your website

Your website is often a customer’s first impression of your business. But before you spend several thousand dollars in a website redesign, look at tools you can use on your own to make your business seem ultra professional.

WordPress and Squarespace are relatively easy to learn and come with plenty of free templates and resources. Opt for a clean, responsive layout that features a professional business phone number, your photo and About page. You can even snag a dedicated phone number from Google Voice for free.

Upgrade your telecommunications

At some point, your smartphone or dedicated Google voice business phone number won’t be enough to make your startup seem bigger than it really is. Set up a virtual office and pay only for the extra telecommunications features and services you need.

For example, 8×8 offers VoIP business phone services can create a virtual office desktop to integrate a business softphone with visual voicemail, a corporate directory, instant messaging and video calling among other professional features like web conferencing and social media. When you combine these features with exemplary customer service, your customers feel like you’ve got it together and are running a thriving business.

Send professional proposals

Clients expect a professional-looking proposal to review your offering, price and more about your company. But it’s more than putting a slick logo on a Word document with a price breakdown and sending it to a client.

There are plenty of low-cost tools on the market that can do most of the tedious work for you. PandaDoc offers straight-forward and easy-to-customize templates and collaboration tools. Pick and choose from a library, add your own content and images, share with your team and send off to clients. It’s also a quick way to get them to say yes and digitally sign on the spot instead of waiting around for a response.

Hire a virtual assistant

Outsourcing time-consuming tasks like data entry can free up more time to focus on your business. A virtual assistant can take care of the little details of running your business without needing to hire full-time help.

Sites like HireMyMom.com empower business owners to find the help they need that meets their budget. Whether you need someone part time or full time, you can find highly skilled professionals that only focus on the type of work and during the hours you need.

Get legal advice

You can get the right legal advice about your business entity and any other issues without retaining a private lawyer. Instead, get advice by asking lawyers just a few questions, learning how to incorporate your business or creating legal documents. Rocket Lawyer helps manage legal needs online by connecting people with reputable lawyers and only paying for services they need.

Temporarily upgrade your office space

There’s nothing wrong with running your startup out of your home, but at some point, you’ll need to hold meetings with clients or investors, run a workshop and meet with team members face to face. While co-working spaces have long been have for freelancers looking for more space, you can now rent entire conference rooms.

Companies like Desks Near Me can connect you with single desks or entire conference rooms near you.

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September 5th, 2017

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Do you remember how nervous you were on the day of your driving test? If you do, then you can imagine how your teen might feel as their own test day is approaching. As an experienced adult driver, it’s easy to dismiss your teen’s anxiety. But it’s not your license that is at stake here: it’s theirs.

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Your experience also has a positive side: you can use it to help your teen feel more relaxed and prepared for their test. Encouragement, support and help go a long toward making your teen feel confident and ready. Here are five things you can do to help lower test day anxiety.

Give Your Teen Lots of Resources

One way to learn and retain new information and develop new skills is to receive information and practice in lots of different contexts. Begin by making sure your teen understands the driver’s license process, from the first knowledge test to the final road exam.Â

Many resources can be found online. Your teen may have a preference for written content, or videos showing practical skills and scenarios. Find content from reputable sources, and share them with your teenager. Make yourself available to answer their questions along the way.

Reproduce the Driving Test Conditions

One way to effectively prepare your teen for the road test is to practice beforehand. This means acting as if you were a DMV examiner and testing all the different skills that the DMV does. Road test guides should have all the information regarding which skills are tested, including the dreaded parallel park!

As test day draws near, practice this road exam scenario several times. This will help your teen be familiar with the test conditions, which will lower their anxiety on test day. Ideally, practice with the same car and on the same roads.Â

Remember to practice in different weather conditions as well: who knows whether it’ll rain or shine on test day!

Teach Relaxation Techniques

If your teen tends to be nervous, it’s a good idea to teach them a few relaxation techniques. This will help them keep their nerves in check on test day.

Some relaxation techniques include:

  • Taking ten deep breaths through the nose can help you relax and calm down your nervous system.
  • Learning a few yoga stretches you can do quickly before the test.
  • Visualizing the different skills tested, focusing on the more challenging ones.
  • Use aromatherapy and take advantage of relaxing scents, like lavender.

Encourage Them Regularly

Noting the ways your teen can improve is important, but so is encouraging them and reinforcing their self-confidence. This means noticing when they do things right, and acknowledging their progress along the way. Positive reinforcement in the form of small rewards at every step of the licensing process is also an excellent way to encourage them to work hard to succeed.

Support Them On Test Day

There are many ways you can support your teen on test day. Encourage them to eat a nutritious meal (no skipping breakfast!) and to avoid caffeine. Plan ahead and get to the test center at least 15 minutes before the appointment.

Prepare a bag with everything they need: learner’s permit and other documents, ID, sunglasses, a bottle of water. Stress can make people forgetful! If you can, tell them to leave their phone with you so they won’t be distracted by potential phone calls or texts.

Most importantly, remind them that they are perfectly capable of passing the test. They are probably worried about all the ways they can fail; telling them that they are already good drivers can help dissipate some of the anxiety.

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July 28th, 2017

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Noah waited 100 years for God to send rain, the first rain the earth had ever seen.  In a society where it seems everything is fast paced and wireless technology can preoccupy us every second of every day, patiently waiting has become a lost virtue.  In the life of a believer, one of the most difficult things to do at times can be waiting on God. When it comes to answering our prayers, I have come to learn that God is rarely if ever early, never late, but seemingly right on time — His time.

I remember a difficult period in my life when it seemed God was so far away and the pain and uncertainty seemed to have no end in sight.  Instead of focusing on my troubles and having a pity party, I chose to keep my eyes on Christ and trust God’s plan and not force my own.  As I waited, I actively spent quality time daily in God’s word.  I wanted to know His will for my life and thought knowing Him through His word was the best place to begin!  My prayer life grew tremendously and at first I admit I offered up many prayers asking God to intercede and make my situation all better.  After I while though I realize my prayers were selfishly all about me. What if I did like Job and offered up prayers for others.  The Bible says, “Job’s circumstances changed” when “he prayed for his friends.”  What would happen if my prayers where more about aligning myself with God and His will?  What if it was more about His Kingdom come?  As I began praying more like Jesus did, for OTHERS, I found my prayers didn’t necessarily change my circumstances, my prayers began to change ME.

Amazingly I began to see God working all around and it was not my ability that matter, but my AVAILABILITY.  I used this “unanswered prayer” for 3 years to focus my activity on aligning with God and what He was already doing and then simply joining Him.  This grew me and prepared my heart for the blessing that most certainly would come.  My investment in a closer relationship with God ensured me that when God did speak and answer my prayer, I would surely hear Him correctly.  And when your prayer involves who God wants you to spend the rest of your life with, you don’t want to hear wrong on that one!  Just as God restored Job many times over what he allowed Satan to take away, God also did the same for me!  It has literally been UNBELIEVABLE! Keep trusting as you actively wait on God.

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July 20th, 2017

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As a mom, you enjoy spending time with your kids and taking them to have some fun away from the house. At the same time, you do not have an endless supply of money, so you cannot always spring for an afternoon at the movies complete with popcorn and boxes of Goobers or trips to the zoo or local theme park.

Fortunately, there are plenty of budget-friendly things that are fun to do with the whole family, some of which won’t cost you a dime. Here are a few your family might like.

Yard sale in an american weekend on the lawn

Ask for a tour

If your kids crave donuts and bagels or are fascinated with money, you might be able to arrange a behind-the-scenes tour of a local business. Call the bagel bakery, bank or pet grooming shop and ask to speak with a manager, explaining that your kids are obsessed with their shop and would like to take them in for a tour. You might find yourselves seeing what the bank vault looks like or watching fresh donuts go from fried to frosted.

Check out the interesting things happening around you

If you have a toddler who is enchanted with bulldozers, cranes and backhoes, watch around your neighborhood for signs of new construction and take her there to watch the action from the safety of your car. Everyday attractions are great ways to get out of the house and enjoy some time with your kids, while also learning something in the process. If a guy is on scaffolding painting a tall building, that might be worthy of a stop and watch moment, so is parking near train tracks to watch the locomotives chug by or heading to the airport to see the jets taking off and landing.

Go see a play

While you might think that “live theatre” and “frugal” are not words that go together, with some last-minute planning they definitely can. Families who live in or near New York City can score some insane deals on tickets to plays and musicals. Browse online ticket sales websites for their selections of discounted theater tickets, many of which go on sale close to showtime. If you don’t mind going to the theatre on the fly and don’t need a lot of time to prepare, this can be a terrific way to get some culture in while saving money.

Go yard sale shopping

Yard sales can be fun and budget-friendly for kids in a variety of ways. Your children may get into the thrill of the hunt that often comes with scouring peoples’ discarded treasures at garage sales — maybe they will find that old LEGO set they always wanted or a gently used book or doll they will love. You can also make it into a game and challenge them to find the goofiest or most colorful item with a certain price limit; just remind them not to crow about how hideous the ceramic cow wearing a sombrero is so they don’t offend the people holding the sale.

Outlet shopping for a set price

If your kids need some new duds, head to the outlet mall and have a little contest to see which kiddo can pick out the coolest outfit for less than a set amount of money. Set your max budget ahead of time and let them choose as much of a complete outfit as possible including socks and accessories.

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June 16th, 2017

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By Brian Zeng

New moms juggle rising family expenses, long work hours and the responsibilities that come with raising a young family. It is no surprise that many are opting to earn an income and support their family while staying at home.

Working from home gives many women the flexibility they are looking for, while enabling them to contribute to their family’s income.

When selecting a job, flexibility is one of the most important deciding factors that count for women after compensation, according to a survey by Fairygodboss.

Working from home, though attractive, is not easy. Firstly, you need to decide on the job that you would like to take up. This has to be done keeping in mind your existing skill sets and the ways in which you can upgrade or build on them. Setting up online shops is an option open to moms looking to work from home.

Several factors need to be considered before deciding on the right work-from-home opportunity. Here are a few tips in this regard:

1)  Do Your Homework

Any major decision requires careful planning. It also requires you to do proper research and ensure that you make the right choices.

Several online resources allow you to check out the best opportunities available. This infographic on well-paying work-at-home jobs will give you an idea of the skills that are the most sought after.

With rapid strides in technology, it has become possible to collaborate with team members working in different time zones. It is also possible to develop and grow businesses on a global scale without worrying about whether or not seamless coordination and communication between global teams are possible.

So, whether you are great at web designing, coding, tutoring or project management, it is possible to solicit business and acquire clients from virtually any part of the globe. Automattic, parent company of WordPress, lets its employees work from a location they choose, and is proud of the fact that they operate without email or physical offices.

So if you have the right skills, the opportunities are endless.

2)  Think Long Term

You should ideally try to explore work opportunities that you are genuinely interested in and are passionate about. Work-from-home jobs require a massive amount of self-discipline and self-motivation. You need to be driven to market yourself, seek out opportunities and complete projects on time. If you find the work dreary and uninteresting, maintaining the tempo will prove to be hard.

The best thing will be to approach this as a long-term commitment. Check out a few jobs and take up a few assignments. You will be better able to understand where your strength and interest lie, and make choices accordingly.

If you take up creative and innovative jobs like that of freelance photographer or writer, then you will have to ensure that your work speaks for itself. Since you mostly get time-bound projects you will have to be intrinsically motivated to complete them on time and in a professional manner. If you are a remote-working project manager, you will not only have to manage your work, but also ensure that your team does so too. Keeping tabs on team performance is easy now with the latest technology at your disposal, but you will have to evaluate whether or not you will be able to cope with tight deadlines, especially if you have young kids at home.

So ensure you choose a career path that is sustainable and manageable in the long term.

3)  Learn to Manage Contingencies

Remote jobs are not free from job-related contingencies and stresses. Escalations often reach a boiling point because the employees do not see each others’ facial expressions and miss cues as to what the other person really means.

It is important that you learn to deal with remote-working teams based in different countries and collaborate on a variety of projects. Many companies like Elastic, a software company, maintain a constant video channel to let employees see each other when sorting out critical issues. Elastic has no physical HQ and has 500 employees working in about 32 countries. They are brought together periodically when the company flies them down to various global cities for team get-togethers.

4)  Enjoy Your Flexible Schedule

Contrary to the stereotype that is associated with remote jobs, taking up a work-from-home opportunity does not mean that you spend the entire day in pajamas and unkempt hair. Most remote workers prefer to maintain an organized office space, where they can work without distractions. Even if you have not opted for a full-time remote job, it pays to keep regular work hours and stick to a routine. This will train your mind to stay focused during ‘office hours.’

Since your job affords you flexibility, ensure to use that to attend to the important work at home or spend some time on yourself. The pleasures of a flexible remote job include finding time for your young kids as they come home from school or daycare, signing up for a weekly yoga or dance class, or choosing to cook healthier meals than rely on takeouts. That fact that you can mold your life according your preference alone makes the whole effort of building a successful remote career worthwhile.

Conclusion

Women, especially moms, find remote-working opportunities extremely attractive. Make sure that you are mentally prepared to take up the challenges that come with a remote job. Do your research well and zero in on an opportunity that gives you the best of everything.

 

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Brian Zeng is a Blogger  at Ponbee.com. He is a digital marketing enthusiast. His interests include aiding small business growth and following e-commerce trends. He is a tech junkie with an entrepreneurial spirit and enjoys spending his time on staying updated on the various aspects of digital marketing and website design

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June 13th, 2017

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By Abbey DeHart

 

For some families, a fancy, designated home office isn’t a reality—but for moms who work from home, it’s a necessity! You need a place to store important papers, put your printer and scanner, and work at your computer easily. The good news is you don’t need a whole extra room to create a functional office space. If all you need are a small desk and a storage area, here’s a simple and easy way to combine them both.

Image 1

Cube storage is an easy and affordable way to stylishly add extra storage space to your home—but have you ever considered using it for anything other than that? For this project, we took a normal corner of a room and created a functional desk area with plenty of space to store projects, supplies and more. The cube storage desk shown here is being used as a standing desk, but you could easily add a counter-height chair or stool to the desk to turn it into a seated desk, as well.

To create your own, start by purchasing two cube storage “boxes” at your desired height and width. For our desk, we assembled two 24×36-inch cube storage boxes with the backs left off of them, so that storage could be accessed on either side of the desk.

Next, we added a 24×60-inch white board over top of the cubes, and applied Gorilla glue between the cube and the board to stabilize it.

Image 2

After you install the desk, you can use the hardware that comes with the cubes to fix it to the wall to ensure that it doesn’t tip over or shift. Then, can get to organizing your space with all the items you’d put in a traditional home office.

Image 3

You can easily customize the look of your home office by selecting different colored organizers and the wood that you use to put on top. Try adding a stenciled pattern to the top of the desk or installing floating shelves above the desktop. You could even make a two-person desk along a wall by adding a third cube organizer in the middle.

Jodi Holzband of SpareFoot recommends adding a physical barrier to add to the feel of having your office, even if you don’t have a door to close: “Put up something that creates a feeling of separation from your living space, like a row of tall plants or a Japanese folding screen. Working near a window is a great bonus, but many office environments don’t even have that, so make sure you invest in good lighting for your space and the kind of work you are doing,” she says.

The options are endless (and affordable) with this project. The best part is that you can knock it out in just a few hours!

 

Abbey DeHart has a passion for DIY and home decor and writes about it for several publishers, including The Home Depot. She gives tips and ideas on topics such as creating an DIY office space using storage cubes and white boards

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May 31st, 2017

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Just like anything else, working from home has its pros and cons. Many times you can set your own schedule, be in a comfortable environment and increase your productivity. However, working from home also can be distracting and chaotic if there’s a lot happening around you. This is why you need a home office. While you have a lot of flexibility in your workspace, there are a few tips you should follow.

Caucasian woman at home workspace

Find a Dedicated Space

Your kids are running around, the dog is barking, laundry is piled up in the corner and the TV is going off in the background. How can you get any work done in this environment? You need a dedicated space and time for your work, and the rest of the household needs to respect this as your place. Whether you have a room with a door or a quiet corner somewhere, you need a dedicated space that’s just for working. Then you can get in the right frame of mind to be productive and not be caught in the craziness of home life.

Make It Ergonomic

Once you have chosen the perfect spot, make it comfortable. Set up your desk and chair with ergonomics in mind so you can be there for hours. Your desk should be high enough so there is clearance for your thighs, knees and feet. If your desk is too low and can’t be adjusted, place boards or raisers under the legs of the desk. Next up is your chair. It should be high enough that your knees are level with your hips and your wrists and hands are straight and level or below your elbows.

For your computer and keyboard, place your monitor about an arm’s length away from your body. The top of the screen should be at eye level so you don’t have to stain your neck looking up or down for long periods of time. Invest in an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to prevent tendonitis and carpal tunnel.

Lighten It Up

Don’t forget about lighting when you’re setting up your home office. You need enough light to work, but you don’t want a glare. If you spend most of the time on a computer, face your screen so that your main light source is to the side to prevent a glare. Natural light is best for your office, so try to pick a room with windows. You also should consider task lighting and other sources of light, such as a desk lamp. Eye strain is a common problem, so do what you can do reduce it.

Add Some Personal Touches

You want to reap all the benefits of working from home, so take advantage of making the space your own. You are not limited by your boss or the owner of a building so you can do anything you want. Hang up a beautiful tapestry or painting that reflects your style and helps the room feel finished. Put down a rug and add a comfy chair to make it feel cozy. Hang up pictures of your family, pets or favorite places to remind yourself why you’re working so hard. Make the space your own and full of things you love. Just don’t go too overboard so you don’t add in too many distractions.

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