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Women working from home

During the Covid19 lockdown, workers had little choice but to work from home if it was at all possible.
At present, flexible work has come into the spotlight and is being considered a good option, for women workers in particular.

But what are the Pro and Cons of working from home for women?

One of the attractions is being able to look after the family while keeping a paid job. And also cutting down on travelling time to and from work.
But would the lines between home and work became blurred? Would there be extra physical and mental burdens placed on women?

Looking forward to your comments .

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There are potential problems and I can see that the more one is involved in the household and the people likely to be in the house (as most women are) the harder it will be to manage your time. I worked from home for years long before it was so common and I did not have most of those additional responsibilities and it was still hard sometimes.

I found that while you can embrace the flexibility that you can gain there still needs to be structure and order. With little (in my case being self-employed none) structure imposed you have to make your own. I needed to plan my day to make the best of it. This meant satisfying clients, getting jobs done by deadline but also nipping out for an extra surf when the swell was up and the wind offshore or fixing the blocked drain before a flood happened. Even if you don’t get dressed or bathed getting up and starting each work day is important.

With small children in the house it will be very hard to concentrate on any item of work unless they are asleep. I think this is going to work much better once they go to school, then the day falls into a schedule and getting work done between (say) 9 and 3 becomes possible. I suppose for some it becomes sensible to employ child minders much as those who go out to work do. Unless the problem is solved one way or another I don’t see any chance of success as both parenting and work will suffer. As for all the other duties of the homemaker they can be scheduled or wait. That means if a child or spouse leaves a mess you might have to just shut the door and pretend it isn’t there. Let’s not get lost in the issue of men taking some of the housework off their wives when the wives return to work as that applies for all types of work.

Being housebound is another problem. Many people are not good at working alone, they need interpersonal contact and will suffer if they don’t get it. Many people who take the role of homemaker relish getting out of the house sometimes just to have an adult conversation, or any at all. I did not have the problem as my work was very immersive, I needed to set the alarm to stop and stretch and take a break, not all work is like that. Even so looking at the inside of the same four walls has its limits.

Here’s an idea; morning tea clubs for those in the street who work from home. Get to know your neighbours, you may find other benefits.

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That’s what I was thinking of too,
getting out to go to a paid job can be a safety valve for some women.
Isolation can be a burden, as well as being available to constant demands from family. Maybe a mix of working from home and going to the workplace a few days a week?
And (horror) what if the workplace would become a ‘male only’ place?

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I have owned my own business for over 40 years and have become an expert in identifying drones but this working from home caper makes it so much easier for everybody to identify the contribution everybody makes. Many do not contribute enough to justify their jobs and also if their jobs can truly be done at home they can be done in India or the Philippines for 20% 0f the cost

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Welcome to the Community @Brinkin

Some years back I witnessed some of those experts from foreign shores who are hired as workers, consultants, or contracting companies. Some are pretty good, but a certain 3 did not know the difference between putting data on the stack versus putting it into the database. It took their ‘keepers’ a few days to figure that out.

Other issues are who stays up late or awakes early for inevitable (video or teleconference) meetings and who has the primary responsibility for language issues and cultural differences in how things get done?

Sometimes saving 80% in salaries can come at a multiple of costs for reasons from poor customer satisfaction causing an exodus, to quality of product to …

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The work from home type typically have little customer contact.

The tools for ‘remote’ work, have been available for years but it is the Pandemic that has made it necessary to implement flexible work especially in those Australian cities which were in severe lockdown for long periods of time.
If businesses have opened up to the idea that an office is not really necessary for conducting business (unless the work needs to be done in a laboratory, for example) and if this will lead to jobs being given to overseas workers will depend on many factors, and let us hope that it is not the bottom line which will count most.

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There are many ‘customer service’ people worldwide who work from home. Their companies route incoming calls to them based on ‘next available’. Some are voice ‘consultants’ and others ‘chatters’.

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And they are called call centres and located in very low wage areas

What is your point then? That you have exported jobs to low wage countries for your own call centre?

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My point is that their jobs are mostly not needed and are now been opened to scrutiny, the Melbourne CBD is a dead duck and the super funds will have to reassess the value of their assets.

If remote working is at a dynamic stage, we can expect a reassessment in all sectors.
It can offer great saving to a company not having to pay expensive rent for office space etc.
As far as predicting that a comparatively small business would sack workers living in Australia and give the jobs to workers living overseas, it seems a bit extreme to me, but then I’m not an expert :slightly_smiling_face:

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Long before the pandemic work from home became commonplace, I worked for very large international IT company, lets call them Big Blue.
They only provided enough office space for half the workers, so working from home at least a few days a week was normal, and encouraged.
They provided all the equipment, and paid for all the communications costs.
It was a system that worked very well.

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The systems were all in place but in some cases there was hesitancy to implement, for various reasons. The Pandemic made it necessary in most Australian cities and @Brinkin feels it might lead to a reassessment of the number of workers needed and possibly going offshore with remote work. What do you think @Gregr?

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I am old enough to have played full back for Moses and can remember the building companies that used to have their own tradesmen and could complete a project in what today be record time.Then in a cascading fashion the industry turned to subcontractors, more profit, lower quality. and extended build time, you go with the herd or go broke.

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@Gaby, the IT systems I supported were located all over Australia and NZ. Some were in the US and Asia.
The coworkers I dealt with were located all over the place. My manager for a few years was in QLD, with me in VIC.
The payroll support people were in the Phillipines, the process management teams in India, and high-level technical support in the US.
Made no difference where I worked from as long as I had a connection to the Internet and my laptop. Could have done my job from a yacht in the Whitsundays, or a tent in the mountains with a satphone.

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The jobs are still needed, but it has been demonstrated that the workers do not have to all be in a central office in the CBD in a city.
I think that many business will reduce their expensive CBD office space, and opt for a work from home mostly model, or a distributed model where cheaper suburban office space is rented for the workers to work from much closer to where they live. One in the outer east, one in the north…etc.

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It’s more likely we have already outsourced to OS based contractors the majority of those jobs. For the jobs that remain in ‘Stray-ya’ do they require a degree of local knowledge, and from time to time personal interaction?

Where business needs a more personal experience, there is always Zoom etc as a substitute for face to face.

Currently Australia has a ‘half baked’ NBN. This might limit the opportunities to specific economic groups. It is most likely to disadvantage families in rural and regional Australia. IE where the NBN service is useless, the demands around schooling more onerous, and child care options few or nil. It’s also our experience that small regional communities often have fewer opportunities for meaningful paid employment. Something being more able to work from home could remedy.

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