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When “Working From Home” Works

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Lisa Chui is the VP of Finance + HR at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings. She is a 17-year veteran and expert in Silicon Valley finance with an emphasis in disruptive technology and start-ups. She began her career in marketing finance and later moved into the tech sector before venturing into Private Equity. Lisa currently heads up both the finance and HR functions at Ubiquity and spends her days budgeting, forecasting, recruiting and ensuring our employees are happy and engaged. She is excited to help propel Ubiquity’s growth through human capital, profitability, and innovation.

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July 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm
Personal Finance

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As a working mom, one of the biggest benefits that a job can offer is flexibility. And included in that flexibility is the ability to work from home. Now I personally prefer to come into the office on most days because I really enjoy the social interactions, but there are certain days when going to the office isn’t the best option for me or members of my team. Here are a few scenarios when working from home is really the best option:

  • Uh-oh, my child is sick! At one time or another, a working parent will always be faced with having a sick child who needs to stay home from school. If your employees can still take conference calls or work on a project that is deadline driven while working at home and tending to their child, then this is a great option for the day. I have worked at places where working from home was frowned upon, and so I was forced to take a PTO day. But that is a whole day’s productivity lost. If employees are able to get the majority of their work done at home, it’s a win-win for both parties.
  • Three, Two, One, STRIKE! The Bay Area recently made headlining news when the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit- one of our biggest public transit systems) workers went on strike for almost an entire work week. Can you say commuter chaos? Some of my colleagues were up at 5 AM just to beat the crowds getting into the city! Others were never even able to make it in. In times like these, better to just take your laptop home, login to Skype and avoid commuter hell.
  • “Your appointment window is between 9 AM – 5 PM” – We have all had these types of cable, phone, Internet, etc. installations where your appointment is really just a window of time when the installation/repairman may or may not show up. And while we all hope for that 9 AM service call, it’s usually not until 4:30 PM that the doorbell rings. If you are forced to wait at home for someone, no sense to take PTO when you could be typing away. Plus, working really does help the time pass more quickly!
  • The soccer game starts at 3 PM – If you have school age children, then you know this one well. Recitals, games and performances start earlier than the workday finishes. As a parent, you want to go to every one (at least I do!). So in order to make it work for both my child and my employer, I make sure to meet deadlines and commitments so that I can continue to have flexibility in the future. Sometimes this requires me to start working at 5 AM to finish by 3 PM and get to the game. Starting work at the crack of dawn is a lot easier in my pajamas and I get more work done by not having to waste time commuting.

Offering a flexible work schedule can really benefit both employers and employees. I think it adds to increased productivity AND employee loyalty.

Does working from home work for you?

Follow Lisa on Twitter @MomFanciesParis