Kid-Friendly, Work-From-Home Jobs
Kid-Friendly, Work-From-Home Jobs
For those of us with little ones at home, landing a remote, work-from-home job seems ideal, yet impossible. You’d love to productively fill those empty hours at home while bringing in some extra money for your family, but as the baby monitor lights up and your toddler pulls on your shirtsleeve, you’re not sure how.
Well, I’m here to tell you to put that doubt away, and to let you know it’s absolutely, 100% possible. As the founder of VirtForce, the digital platform connecting active-duty military spouses to vetted virtual employment, I help parents with small children get #hired all the time.
At VirtForce, we get this question a lot.
Do I have to have a “kid free” workspace to work from home?
The bottom line is it really depends on the job! I’ll be honest, for some remote roles, the answer will unequivocally be yes, you must have a quiet background free from distractions. Other jobs, it simply won’t matter what’s going on in the background because you can work however it suits you. The requirement for a quiet office can be 0%, 50% or 100%, and anywhere in between.
As a matter of fact, as I write this article, I’m sharing an office with my five-month-old, who’s happily shaking her teething toys and cooing. That doesn’t mean that she’s here 24/7, but it’s totally doable even on days when I don’t have childcare.
You won’t know if you don’t ask!
Keep in mind that the requirement for a quiet, kid-free work environment may only apply for that Microsoft Teams meeting once a week, so it’s important to read the job description fully and inquire about the minimum amount of quiet office hours required.
If the quiet office requirement is not in the job description, apply to the position and pretend it is a requirement for your job interview. Then, when you are face-to-face with the hiring manager you can discuss how your quiet hours fit in with your family routine.
I asked our Recruitment Marketing Manager Jess, who works from home with a just-turned-6-year-old and a 2-year-old, to weigh in on this topic.
“I was nervous about making the switch to a fully remote position at first, but I think the most critical first step is finding an employer that supports the work/life balance,” Jessica said. “I work on the projects that don’t require a quiet office setting while my kids are awake and try to schedule my meetings around when they go to daycare or during nap times.”
Times are changing
With many schools changing to home-based learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, employers – many whom are parents themselves – are becoming more aware of the need for flexible hours and office environments for working parents.
That being said, having a quiet, professional environment for your job interview is still a must, so make sure you have childcare on the day of that phone interview or Zoom meeting.
The Spectrum of Office Setting Requirements
Not all work-from-home opportunities are the same. Remote work is a spectrum. Showing up on time for a Zoom meeting in your best business attire in your home office is one end, but there’s a range.
You may not have to come to every Zoom meeting dressed for the board room. Your team may only need for your kids to keep it down for just two hours a week. The rest is up to you.
So, then you need to ask yourself, “Is the job worth it and can I work it?”
- knock this work out before my kids wake up?
- schedule meetings after I drop them off at school?
- have a neighbor watch them?
- make sure they are napping for that once-a-week meeting?
Work From Home Childcare Options
Working from home with small children is totally doable. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done.
As a recent new mom, I chose to hire a nanny who can come to my home and help take care of my newborn when I need to log some quiet office hours, but I know many parents who do it with no childcare.
It’s going to take some work on your end, and you have to be willing to think outside the box. Let’s hear more about how Jess does it.
“I also find it important to keep a routine,” Jessica said. “We do playtime and learning activities first thing in the morning and then I throw away the mom guilt, put on a TV show for the kids, and get some work done! It has been such a huge blessing that my breaks are now focused around their snack times and lunch times and I’m not missing out on those lunch time conversations or all the time missed commuting to and from work.”
So, what jobs are good for moms or dad with kids at home?
- Part-time, 15-30 hours a week
- Audio transcription, email and chat-based customer service that require no customer interaction at all
- Gig-based, ticket-based or project-based work you can do on your own time
- Any job that does not indicate a “quiet office setting is required”
- Remember, it varies depending on the job and the job description does not always tell you what the requirements are, so apply to jobs that interest you and inquire about quiet office hours later!
If you are interested in finding some of these jobs, we invite you to check out our Recruitment Arsenal at jobs.virtforce.us.
Written by Kimber Hill in collaboration with Michelle Corbet