My friend Lindy Edwards has a terrific piece in The Age discussing the importance of working from home for making all of our lives easier. She writes:
Once upon a time men did the paid work and women did society’s unpaid work. When women entered the paid workforce our consumption expectations increased and so did our mortgages. Now, for many families, the response to increasing financial pressures is for mum to work more hours.
But the problem of unpaid work remains, and is growing as people are caught looking after both elderly parents and young children. The crunch is hitting women the hardest. It is putting them under enormous strain, and the whole family is feeling the pressure
She says working from home would solve a lot of these problems for many families.
These days a lot of unpaid work is also time-critical rather than time-intensive. It is about being there at the right time for the school pick-up, the medical appointment, when the plumber is coming, or to put on the washing.
I couldn’t agree with her more. I’m very lucky to work from home one day a week. Avoiding a commute automatically gives me an extra hour in the morning, which I spent exercising and an extra hour in the evening, which I get to spend with Miss Nearly 4.
It also takes the ‘pressure valve’ off our daily lives on a regular basis. When it rains at the weekand there’s a load of washing we didn’t get through, I hang it out on Tuesdays. I can collect something at our local post office, and get a haircut during my lunch break. None of this detracts from my work – and in fact having a day at home to read or write longer documents can make me enormously productive.
It doesn’t work for every job – and there have been weeks when fitting in the meetings in my in-the-office days have been tricky. I had to come into the office yesterday for a meeting with an interstate visitor, but on the whole it works brilliantly and makes our two working parents scenario much smoother.
You can read the rest of Lindy’s ideas here.
Do you work from home? Do you wish you could?