When you stop to consider how much of your life is spent being involved in your job, it is shocking. There is rushing to get ready for work, hurrying to get to work on time, getting all your work done, getting back home in rush hour, getting to sleep so you can get up on time to start the whole rut over again. Really, the only other activity that gets as much time as work is sleep if you can squeeze it in! You really must, you know because if you collapse from the stress and exhaustion who will do all that you do?
If you have small children it is even more effort to get to work, not to mention you do have responsibilities to create a ‘home’ and to be there for your family. While as adults we may realise the necessity of working to support our families and we may even try to make our kids understand, to a child’s mind the only thing that seems to stick is you are not there. When you think about it, to a kid it is their waking hours when you are away at work. Nice touch to be able to spend an hour or two with them out of a 24-hour day.
This is why, particularly for people with kids that it makes so much sense to work at home one way or the other; either by convincing your employer to at least let you work from home part-time or by starting your own business. When you start to consider other things besides time, like money, you have another whole level of reasoning of why it would be best if you can make the arrangements to work at home.
Let’s calculate how much you spend on commuting/traveling to and from work, which usually is not in any way repaid to you by your employer. This calculation should include public transit costs or gasoline, and if you drive, add the parking, bridge tolls, and auto maintenance. Then there are costs that come in the ‘getting ready for work’ category, such as grooming, clothing, dry cleaning, etc.; along with eating lunches out unless you have time to make a bag lunch.
If you have small children you are likely paying a large percent of your income for child care at the minimum. Again this is in addition to the fact that your child is growing up without your presence most of the time. Not to make you feel guilty as it is a fact of life, even with two parent households, it is necessary financially to have two incomes; but again they just don’t really understand.
When you work at home your time is really your own. Not that you can slack off because you really do need to work at your business aggressively, especially if self-employed. But the point is you can work your job around your life instead of the job running your life 90% of the time. That means if you want to do your work at night, or half in the morning and half at night, or maybe have a day off in the middle of the week, that is up to you. You can then make time for your kids activities and to participate with them – and still get your work done on time!