5 Must Haves for a Work from Home Dad

The pandemic-induced lockdown was not easy for many. Some lost their jobs, and many explored how to find jobs while they were forced to stay at home. I myself started being a work from home dad jobs two years ago. For the most part, I’ve learned to adjust, but the road towards achieving my current comfortable work-life balance was not easy. Here are 5 must-haves to be a successful work from home dad. 

 

#1 A Dedicated Working Area  

One of the biggest misconceptions about working at home is that one has the freedom to work anywhere in the house — the kitchen table, the living room, bedroom, garage. I had to “unlearn” this the hard way. I soon found out that the kitchen and living room were always occupied and therefore distracting. The bedroom made it easy to fall asleep when I shouldn’t. The garage was not conducive because I was at the mercy of the heat and humidity as well as distracting noises from the street or the neighbors. 

If you don’t have a spare room to use as a dedicated home office like I do, it might be a good idea to set up a dedicated workspace at a quieter corner of the living room, away from where other family members normally converge (near the TV or dining area). To keep the peace, I sat down with my family to set ground rules. The TV volume had to be lower during my work hours. When I am on video conferencing, they must try their best to stay away from my workstation. Investing on a good noise-cancelling headphone could also help.  

 

#2 A Laptop with a Good Battery 

One of the biggest problems that plague remote work here in the Philippines is access to uninterrupted power supply. From unscheduled blackouts to power cables snapping or transformers exploding during heavy downpour and thunderstorms, these sudden power interruptions could make you miss important deadlines.  

Even if you have been using the same trusty high-end laptop for years, it stands to reason that its battery life had seen better days. Replace old batteries before they totally give out. Once you have enough money, make the investment on a new laptop with good battery life. You will find that it will soon pay for itself.  

For uninterrupted connection to the internet, get a power bank for your WiFi router. Just be sure to buy from a reputable store because there are many defective or bad clones on the market. 

For those with desktops, getting a decent UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is the way to go. Although it may only keep your desktop running for less than an hour, it will allow you to save your work or at least alert your employer that there’s an outage. It will also prevent damage to your desktop components in case of a power surge. 

 

#3 An Office-Appropriate Chair and Table 

Don’t hesitate to splurge on a decent office-grade table and chair. Working from home still means having to sit in front of a computer for 8 hours or more. There is a reason why “office furniture” is category of its own — it’s not just about office aesthetics but ergonomics.  

If you are currently using a table and chair that do not allow you to work on your computer at the right level and height, you will soon find yourself complaining of back and neck pain. Get a table that can accommodate your laptop and other work equipment but will not strain your elbow or contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome 

 

#4 Proper Lighting 

Some people say that a lighted monitor is good enough. Others say working under the kitchen or living room light fixtures is okay. But there’s a reason why big companies invest in proper lighting and positioning of office desks and computers. For instance, you may not notice that house light may hit your screen and cause glare, putting your eyes under strain to accommodate the brightness. It can also get worse if your screen is near a window, as sunlight could cause glare too. Consider using darker or light-blocking curtains on the windows near your station.  

 

#5 Set hours for work and for family 

If there’s one advantage that onsite office work has over working from home, it’s that it’s easier to turn off “work mode” as soon as you step out of the workplace. But when you’re working from home, you may find it difficult to “leave work” when your office is literally a few steps away from wherever you are in the house. 

Re-learning how to leave your “work self” is an integral part of achieving work-life balance as a work from home dad. And the best way to do this is by adhering to a strict “work time” and “family time” schedule. Once your shift ends, it’s important to distance yourself from your laptop/desktop and dedicate the rest of your day to your family. It won’t be easy, and many struggle balancing their work and family life even before the pandemic, but just stick to this routine and you’ll eventually get the hang of it. 

It may help for you to have two separate user accounts in your computer, one for work and another for leisure, and the moment your shift ends, log-off of your work account. This can aid in conditioning your mind to follow your work-life balance schedule. It must be able to distinguish  that work time is officially over — just like when you log out from the office. 

The Takeaway 

Finding a good company to work for is often hit or miss. But with the global job market opening to accommodate more and more remote workers, remember that when deciding which companies to work for, compensation is simply not enough. Big salary rates are ultimately worthless if you’re working for a company that demands more time than you can afford and sees you merely as a replaceable gear in their machinery. You will be happier if you find a company that genuinely value their remote employees’ growth and rights and ensure that you’re working with a competent and welcoming team. When applying for a job, do your research on the company. Look them up, see what their previous or current employees say about them. And while you’re at it, check out opportunities at LegalMatch Philippines here

Techy Moms: From Level 0 to 3

Techy Moms: From Level 0 to 3

 In the past, most Filipina mothers were only engaged in household care. They were expected to tend to their children while the husband worked to financially support the family. Today, they are more empowered; they take care of the home but also work outside of it to provide for their families. They are more independent and confident and many of them work in companies as tech-savvy professionals. With more moms learning to use tech gadgets, it might be a good idea to see if she can earn extra income by harnessing such a skill.

  

In this article, to celebrate the end of May, the month of mothers, we’ll talk about how tech-savvy your mom is according to three levels: level 1, level 2, and level 3. 

 

Level 1: Does Your Mom Know How to Use Her Phone?  

Does she talk on it, text and take photos with it? Does she use apps like Facebook or Instagram? What kind of apps does she use in general? Is she one of those who discovered the joys of online shopping during the pandemic? 

 

According to online statistics, Filipino spend a lot of time in social media apps, especially Facebook and Instagram. Furthermore, in the last two years, Filipinos have certainly come to depend on mobile phone apps that enabled them to shop at their utmost convenience. With thousands of sellers going online though, educating your mother on how to navigate through these online shopping apps can help her spot and avoid scams.   

  

If she is a level 1 techy mom, you may also help your mother do the following:   

  • Familiarize and navigate through the settings of her phone
  • Identify what each app on her phone is for
  • Use instant-messaging apps for day-to-day communication 

 

Mobile phones are now one of the basic necessities that your mother should know how to use. A lot of important things can be done using our phones, including bills payment, online banking, reading the news, and many more!  

 

Level 2: Does Your Mom Know How to Use a Laptop or Desktop Computer?  

Many Filipina moms, especially those who finished a degree, must already have some knowledge and skills tucked away that might just be the ticket for entry into a remote IT job. For example, some moms may have decent typewriting speed for data encoding jobs. Others are natural sellers and could go for online sales or marketing jobs. Others may write very well and could pass for web copywriting.

 

For moms with these skills, getting DIY tutorials on how to use Microsoft Office applications could do just the trick. There are employers that hire moms who can use MS Office or online platforms, even if they had no prior relevant experience. Level 2 techy moms are those that HR personnel usually categorize as highly trainable. 

 

Level 3: Does Your Mom Work From Home Using Her Laptop or Computer?  

Suppose your mom already works from home? A work from home mom is a level 3 tech-savvy mom. She will not just to know how to use her laptop or computer but also masterfully navigate through the applications used in her online job.  

 

Ever since the pandemic hit, most people now work from home, including moms, and they actually find this set-up beneficial. Aside from having less stress from commuting to work, they can also be with their families and spend more time with their children.

  

The following are three of the most common work from home jobs for moms:  

  • Writing  
  • Tutoring  
  • Customer Service 

  

These work from home jobs leverage the existing knowledge and experience of Filipino moms. Because our educational system values teaching in the English language, many moms in their 30s to 40s speak very good English. Their experience in dealing with children also means that they have the patience to tutor in English young Korean, Japanese or Chinese kids. Or do sales pitches to US or EU customers.

  

There are lots of other work from home options for moms in the Philippines. Because these jobs can be done anywhere and at any time—it is perfectly feasible for Filipina moms to work from home.   

  

What You Can Do Further 

   

If your mom can be categorized into any level above, she’s a bona fide techy mama. If not, your mother is in level 0, which means she isn’t tech-savvy at all. But don’t lose hope because you can surely help her to get to Level 1 or even 3, with some effort!

 

So how to level up from zero? For starters, help her set up her social media accounts. Schedule a short walkthrough. Encourage her to explore. Soon enough, she will be asking you questions. Be patient—remember that not everyone grew up on gadgets.  

  

So there you go. Who knows, you might be able to allow your mom to find fulfillment in a long-awaited career. There are many platforms that advertise remote online jobs. Check out Upwork, Virtual Worker, Jobstreet and the most popular right now, LinkedIn. Here at LegalMatch PH, we’re also very open to recruiting work-from-home moms for IT-related jobs. So if you have a level 2 or 3 tech-savvy mom looking for a work-from-home IT-related job, check out our open positions here