Having a baby is said to be the most exciting time of your life. It’s a dream scenario for many women – have a baby so that your family is complete. However, how does it affect your working life? Regulations including the Maternity and Parental Leave Regulation of 1999 are in place to protect a person who requires a career break to look after a new born. In some unfortunate circumstances, people may find that they are discriminated in their workplace and any career progression is also affected. Elsewhere, some discover that their priorities change, and they want to take a different career path. Then, there are those who simply require more money during their leave.
In this article alongside Babythingz, who stocks the double buggy, we take a look at what options expectant and new mothers have to work at home.
Why work from home?
The idea of working from home appeals to many in Britain. In fact, flexible and remote working are two of the most sought-after benefits for people looking for a new full-time role. Surveys have found that the nine-to-five regime is disliked by nine out of 10 workers in the UK. The concept of remote working can give you control over your schedule and allow you to avoid the long commutes, both of which can improve your work/life balance.
So, other than requesting remote working to their current employers, what ways are available to parents who want to work from home?
The writing industry offers a great opportunity for a wordsmith to work from home. Those who are journalists or PR experts can continue to work in a freelance environment thanks to technological advancements and the internet.
Journalist and blogger, Davina Gordon, said: “Freelancing while on maternity leave enables me to express myself as a creative individual while also boosting my income. I plan to be a working mum and I believe it’s possible to be both a great mother and have a great career. The happier and more fulfilled I feel, the better mum I’ll be, and my son deserves the best version of me.”
Social media is rife with specially created freelance groups to help editors reach out to freelance writers. Sites like Fiverr can also provide great opportunities with subscribers able to bid on work projects.
In a similar fashion to freelance writing, graphic designers can continue to pick up freelance work during their maternity leave. Many small businesses can’t afford to hire a full-time employee for this role so continuously look to outsource any work they need completing. Once again, sites like Fiverr can be a great place to pick up projects.
Buying a franchise
This may sound like hard work, but it doesn’t have to be. Many parents hate the idea of being away from their new addition. While franchises, such as McDonald’s, Subway and other huge brands may be out of the question, why not look a little closer to home? You may find that you have attended, or will be attending, baby classes with your child. Did you know that the majority of these ideas are actually small franchises, meaning you may be able to run your favourite class?
This means that you’ll be able to run as many classes in your selected area and also be available for party hire, meaning you can earn while also taking your little one along with you!
Set up your own business
It may be seen as the riskiest of options. Setting up a business can financially be tough at the start. In fact, eight out of 10 new companies cease to exist within 18 months. However, with the correct idea it can be a great option to staying at home for work.
Kate Greenhalgh, founder of date-night suggestion company A Year of Dates, set up her own business when her daughter was nine months old following a Christmas gift her husband had made her. Originally, the work was completed during nap times and in the evenings. However, she had decided she didn’t want to go back to making the hour-long commute to her account manager job, or be required for last minute late-night work, so had a lightbulb moment to set up the company.
While she admits that her day is still jam-packed, she realises that the benefits outweigh the negatives. “My time is my own,” she says. “I can go to meetings and networking events which has been great for opening important doors. I can also pick my daughter up from nursery, take her to gymnastics and spend quality time with her.”
Online customer support
Many start-ups and established companies look out for someone to be able to connect with their customers. You can work at home to respond to incoming emails through online systems, and reply to support requests, especially on social media.
Of course, there are more options available, but the above are a few great examples of how to achieve that all-important work/life balance following your new arrival. While money is an extremely important factor when you have a child, it’s important to remember to cherish the memories while you can and working at home can go a long way to achieving this.