Posted on January 25, 2011 by Michele
I liked this article from the Poststar in upstate New York. I’m from upstate New York and it is true that much of it is beautiful but remote and far from the heavy job centers of the state. Particulary in the Adirondack and Finger Lakes regions, which tend to be vacation destinations.
The author states ” In upstate New York, a growing accpetance of teleworking could eventually spur a population migration toward rural towns throught of as nice places to live, but far from where the majority of jobs are located.” Wouldn’t that be wonderful? The problem is getting more acceptance of telecommuting, which often (and maybe rightly so) requires proving yourself to your employer first as a full-time in-the-office worker and branching out to telecommuting gradually.
With the option of telecommuting, at least part of the time, my husband can now work from his hometown in Maine -allowing us to take that extra day of travel and avoid some of the heavy weekend traffic when we visit. And with ancillary devices, such as smart phones, one can even create their own mobile hot spot for accessing the Internet.
Filed under: flex time, home office, office tools, productivity, self-employed, telecommuting, telecommuting facts, work from home | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 5, 2010 by Michele
A trend that is bothersome to me are jobs that are advertised as work for stay-at-home moms. Once you take a paid job, whether from home or not, you are no longer a stay-at-home mom. You are a mom that works from home and also cares for children. Or vice versa, however you want to state it.
If a father took a part-time job at home he would likely be referred to as first an employee of XYZ company and second as the primary care giver of his children.
I’d prefer the term “flexible work arrangement” which would mean that the job allows you to work around caring for your children. Why should ads touting jobs for stay-at-home moms not continue? Because those ads lessen the work of motherhood. Being a full time caregiver IS a job. When we expect women to both care for children and hold down paid work we are expecting too much and setting up moms to feel like failures.
Filed under: child care, flex time, job sharing, parenting, telecommuting, work from home | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 13, 2010 by Michele
A few legislative acts are underway and could mean more assistance to those looking for a flexible work schedule.
Working Mother magazine compiled this list of potential workplace flexibility laws although the article points out that none of the laws are likely to pass this year.
Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1274): This legislation would give employees the right to request flexible work terms and receive a written response from their employer within 14 days.
Family Friendly Workplace Act (H.R. 933): This legislation would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to permit employers to offer employees the choice of receiving paid time off in lieu of overtime wages.
The Family Work Flexibility Act: Aims to amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow employers a business tax credit for the cost of teleworking equipment used by employees to telework and for expenses to maintain such equipment.
The last item, the Family Work Flexibility Act, seems it would have the best measure of success with companies. I’m unsure of the potential of the other two laws. For one, it’s unfortunate that legislation is underway to simply allow an employee the right to request flexible work terms and receive a written response from their employer (which will likely be “no, but thanks for asking.”).
It’s nice to know that some folks are thinking about workplace flexibility options but it still has a long way to go.
Filed under: telecommuting | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 24, 2010 by Michele
I’ve written about this many times before but it is something that really gets under my skin. In my research I am always uncovering web sites to help parents work from home. Working from home is great but it’s the sites that purport ”Spend more time with your children! Save on the costs of child care!” that I loathe. Many have their heart in the right place but too often these sites lead folks down an unrealistic path.
I’m not sure who these folks are that care for their children and are also employed at home with a successful business. I think parents are kidding themselves if they think that writing a blog post or listening in on a conference call with the mute button pressed while their child colors on the floor next to them is the same as caring for your child. It’s okay to work occasionally when your children are around, in fact, I think it’s good for them to see this side of you. But the idea that you can have a successful career and care for your children at the same time, both from home, is ludicrous. If you think it is possible, I’d love to hear your explanation.
In fact it’s making me rethink my logo, which shows a mom working with a baby at her feet. I suppose when you have a baby you can certainly get more done than with a toddler, and when your children are in school you can get loads accomplished. But I don’t want to reinforce the false idea that working from home means you can have it all. It doesn’t. Work is still work and children still need attention. Child care is necessary.
And when we say that we can work from home while at the same time caring for our children, doesn’t that diminish the role of mother? I don’t consider the “supermom” who says she can do it all to be anything to idolize. For years mothers have been trying to get respect for the hardest job in the world. If we say we can care for our young children at the same time we can run a business, then maybe being a mother isn’t so hard after all. Anyone want to argue that?
Filed under: telecommuting | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 28, 2010 by Michele
Do you need a home office makeover? I love this promotion from CSNOffice.com, a furniture retailer. The company is working with interior designer Taniya Nayak to find the Worst Workspace. And your home office could be it!
The company states ” Together, they’re looking to rescue woeful workspaces across the country, from homely home offices to cluttered, crummy cubicles to disgusting dorm rooms.”
Prizes are listed below, per the CSN web site. To apply you”ll need to describe your workspace in 25- 250 words.
Grand Prize for the Absolute Worst Workspace: A Herman Miller Workspace, featuring an Airia Desk, an Airia Media Cabinet, an Eames Aluminum Group Chair, a Leaf Light, a Cognita Bench, and $250 in CSNOffice.com Rewards Dollars to stock up on office supplies. (Value: $6,500).
First Prize for the Worst Home Office: A BDI Workspace, featuring the Sequel Office Suite, and $250 in CSNOffice.com Rewards Dollars. (Value: $4,200).
First Prize for the Worst Office Space: A Steelcase Workspace, including the Currency Single Pedestal Desk, an L Desk Extension, a Mobile Pedestal, a Think Chair, and a Underline Light (Value: $2,100).
First Prize for the Worst Student Workspace: A Humanscale Workspace, including the Freedom Chair, a Foot Machine, and a Keyboard System (Value: $2,000).
I am in no way endorsing CSN or it’s products. I just thought this was a fun contest for all of those who work at home. Good luck!
Filed under: contests, home office | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 15, 2010 by Michele
Uh Oh. Someone’s in trouble. Five thousand six hundred employees of Novartis are suing the company for sex discrimination against female employees.
Just because a company is on one of those Top 100 Best Places to Work list doesn’t really mean it’s the top place for you to work. Working Mother included it in one of its Best Lists because the company offered ” flex time, job shares, telecommuting, and seminars on pediatric issues.”
A neighbor works for another one of those Top Companies for Working Mothers. Her company was included because it provides onsite childcare for when one has to work extra hours. Gee thanks. Now I can continue to not see my kids but continue to work longer hours, for you, the company.
That’s fine if that is what employees want but I usually dismiss those Best Companies to Work For lists as much as I dismiss those Best Places to Live reports. The information is compiled from stacks of data, graphs on paper, not real life anecdotes.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 15, 2010 by Michele
They are just so darn good at explaining things (or digging up the resources for explaining things). For instance, in this survey, courtesy of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Managment), they give us a brief and simple explanation between telecommuting, job sharing, flextime and seasonal scheduling.
For example, ever heard of a results-only work environment? I haven’t, but it exists. “Under this arrangement, employees can work where and whenever they wish, as long as projects are completed on time.”
Filed under: defintions, flex time, job sharing, self-employed, telecommuting, work from home | Leave a Comment »