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There are several reasons that stop women from economic participation. Gender discrimination, lack of equal opportunities at work, family pressure to take care of other roles and responsibilities are just some of the factors.
Time is ripe that we provide women alternatives and more opportunities for working from home.
From Pune and Calcutta to Jaipur and Trivandrum, women in India are looking to work from home. With little technical knowledge, they are able to access the benefits of remote working and earning anything from INR 10000/- per month to INR 100000/- per assignment.
More and more companies are also opening up for this arrangements as it solves their resource crunch problem without increasing their fixed employee cost.
Entering into the work-from-home workforce is easy, but maintaining a steady stream of work, and getting the kind of professional treatment you deserve is very challenging.
So what should women do while they are working from home?
- Get a realistic assessment- Women need to assess a lot of things before they jump into the work-at-home bandwagon. Availability of productive time- how much time can you consistently offer for your work from home assignment? Availability of required skills- Do you have what employers need for a particular job? Get a skill assessment done to have better clarity Assess your earning potential- You can’t expect similar pay and benefits while working from home unless you are in some specialist areas where there is very low competition. Make sure you are paid fairly to avoid burn-out.
- Plan a backup- Most of the women who are successfully working from home will vouch for having a plan B to manage unforeseen circumstances at home. Something more urgent than your work can strike the best and the most seasoned women working from home. Make sure your work doesn’t suffer, plan for some backups, a friendly neighbour to watch over kids, an express house cleaning service which can help you in house-help emergencies, there are many ad-hoc daycare facilities available where children can be left safely for a few hours while you finish your deadline.
- Get financially literate- Having a bank account of your own is a good first step, but financial independence needs a lot more. You must be a focus on financial literacy combined with digital literacy. How to use mobile wallets, mobile banking, online transfers, access to financial services, savings and investment knowledge, budgeting and financial planning are some of the areas to master upon. It’s only when you have a solid foundation of financial knowledge, that you can think of scaling up your business and maximising your returns.
- Build a professional network- Having a network will help you in interacting with like-minded women, stay abreast of the latest development in your area of expertise, and expand your business. It is imperative that you join networks which help you in establishing your business as well as getting new business and leads.
- Always strive for upskilling- Make sure you are ready to learn new skills whenever an opportunity comes your way. By attending regular workshops, training programs, you can stay updated and increase your knowledge.
Working from home is no different than working from the office. It’s only a little better as you get to choose your own working hours, and can still take care of your other roles and responsibilities. Keeping a professional approach and honouring your commitments will surely take you a long way in your work-from-home journey.