The professional workforce in our country has changed vastly in the past half century alone. Since the late 1970s, the number of women in the workforce has doubled, and the number of women self-employed increased over two-fold by 2008 (1).
In 2014, it was reported that close to 75 percent of mothers were working, or actively looking for work (2).
Given this information, we can assume many business owners, that are women, are also mothers.
Lastly, the department of labor reported in 2016 that 61% of families had both mom and dad working full time (3). So, in many instances, these mother-run businesses don’t have dad at home with the kids. So how do they do it?
We have found many mothers work their way back into the workforce for a litany of reasons, some may be to offset living expenses, others, to regain a sense of belonging in an adult world. The schedule that a job offers, and the benefits of using your mind, degree or experiences, allows moms to once again identify as something from their lives before children. Many of these women, much like the creators of SocialTrend, see a need and create a solution. Often, those women find themselves evolving from stay-at-home mothers to work-at-home mothers, which, although it may sound similar, is a very different role.
What does it really look like to work-at-home?
Running a business out of a home office means it’s difficult to ‘clock out’. Running a business in any capacity is demanding- of your time and your effort- similar to any relationship. Creating a business is like having another child that needs lots of attention.
If a mother has an office in her home, many may imagine it’s buried in toys, snacks and children running through it, chances are, it’s vastly different than that, and probably looks more like the traditional office scene we are all familiar with (The featured image here is a glimpse into our office at SocialTrend).
In most work-at-home positions the hours put into work are the hours children are napping, sleeping, or being watched by someone else. Women who work full-time in their home need to recruit even more resources due to higher demand on their time and concentration. Managing time and responsibilities is an attribute we should all strive to do well in our careers – we like to think handling all of our workplace and motherhood tasks skillfully makes us more qualified to do our (professional) job better than much of our competition.
Breaking the work-at-home glass ceiling
Since establishing our company we have discovered there are some interesting preconceptions people have about professionals working from home. We’ve heard some comments from people questioning the level of professionalism in this type of workplace, which some may find a bit discouraging and demeaning. Isn’t it often considered a goal to have a successful enough business or role to be able to work remotely?
This isn’t new, working from home, but more people need to understand the varying workspaces that have emerged, especially with our world’s reliance on technology in business. The number of women creating successful businesses is on the rise. We urge you, if you haven’t already, to look at working alongside these women-run businesses (like ours!), especially the women who have home offices and children, because they have an exceptional ability to get more work done in a half hour, than many people can accomplish in a traditional work day. Women working out of their home have to be masters at scheduling, delegating and prioritizing.
What should I take away from this?
This article is not to put down any group of mother, working, stay-at-home, work-at-home, etc. we all have our own balance and there is no perfect equation. We all strive to do what’s right for our families, and that is unique to each situation. The purpose of the thoughts collected here is to shed a light on a lesser acknowledged set of mothers, and to encourage you to re-imagine what you may have thought it meant for someone who may be running her business out of her home. We also want to say kudos to the people who have figured it out!
We believe the work-at-home category of the workforce is one to be reckoned with, not questioned.
As always, if you have questions about our business, what we do, or how we do it, reach out, we’d love to tell you more!