For many women, the idea of working from home is very appealing for many reasons. Firstly, for those who are married with children, working from home or independently, gives you the freedom to manage your home and have quality time with your children. For those who have a relative in need of care or assistance or who have a health problem themselves, working independently allows the freedom to develop a lifestyle that suits your health needs. The hard part comes when others do not understand what you are working towards or that working independently can and is real work.
Let’s take a look at this a little further. For those working independently, some might have an office or practice that they go to or even a spot in the local Hub. Not everyone has a place of work outside of the home though, many who work privately, independently or freelance do so from home. So what are the implications of working from home?
Before we get to that, let us look at the role of work a little more closely. To be working, does that mean that you HAVE to go to an office, in order to be working? Does it mean that you can ONLY earn if you go into an office for a 9 – 5 job? If you do have a 9-5 office job, does this ALWAYS mean that you earn a salary at the end of every month?
Or perhaps in order to be working you need to go into a factory, store or some kind of menial labour. Is that what work is all about? Is this the only definition of work?
If you decide to work independently, is the only way to work to go out and be a labourer of some kind? Perhaps a plumber or construction worker, a painter, Mr Fix It or house cleaner? Is this the only kind of work from home?
If you are working independently, does that mean you are just playing around, splattering the wood in your studio? How about if you actually create art that is sold and earns you a good income? Or what about if your craft is photography? Or any of the health professions? Or if you are a teacher or tutor or coach. Is it remotely possible that you can actually be working when you are spending time at home?
What is work? Work is basically an activity or job that requires physical, mental effort or both and which receives monetary compensation. There is also volunteer work but we are not discussing work for free right now.
There is lot more I could share about the area of work from an occupational therapy perspective. For now, let us look at two details 1) there is some form of effort or output which receives 2) some kind of monetary compensation. Does this mean it has to come from one boss and one boss only? Does it mean that one is only working if you go into an office, factory, laboratory, institution or facility?
No, there are many forms of work that make up the work force and generate income. Let us take a look at two fairly recent surveys that look at the importance of the freelancer in the workforce. The first is entitled Freelance Statistics This one takes a look at freelancing in the US, UK and Europe. The second is Freelancing in America in 2017. This is carried out after the first article listed here and shows an increase in freelancing which is thought to continue to rise to an incredible 50%.
If someone has taken the move to work independently and they are consistently putting in effort, revising and improving their work, then they are most certainly working. If they are not yet reaching their financial goals, that is their business and for them to put in the effort to analyze what actions are necessary to improve their income. However, it does not mean that the person is purely sitting around doing nothing.
What is the conclusion of this post?
What kind of work you choose to engage in is your decision. The wise decision is for your work to enable you to develop a lifestyle that promotes health on all levels and will ensure that you can meet your financial goals and responsibilities. For some this will mean going out to work in a salaried job and for a growing percentage of the greater population, this work will take place independently from whatever venue the freelancer or independent worker chooses to work.
More and more one hears of husbands also wanting to work from home and even to work together with their wife in some kind of independent venture. This decision is one for the couple to make and not for anyone else to interfere with.