Working from home comes with a unique set of challenges, but add the job of being a mom on top of that, and life can get busy and stressful quickly. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of six tools moms need when working from home. Take a look at what you need to be successful.
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The number one tool moms need to work from home is a reliable laptop that’s lightweight and has a good Wi-Fi connection. A laptop allows you to pick up your work space and deposit it anywhere. For instance, if your kids are watching a movie in the living room, you can sit on the couch with them; or if they are taking a nap, you can set up your laptop in a room nearby so you can hear when your kids wake up.
Pay special attention to the features on your laptop. A strong Wi-Fi connection gives you more freedom to roam, and a bigger screen size makes multitasking easier. The processor speed is another consideration to make. Remember that quad core processors are better than dual core, and you should spend extra money for more memory.
When you work from home, you need to spend extra money each month to get high-speed internet. You can’t afford to lose your connection because it prevents you from getting your work done. Choose the fastest speed that you can afford, and make sure that you set up a secure network to protect your information. If possible, go with fiber-optic internet so that you don’t have to share internet bandwidth with your neighbors.
Quality Headset and Video Camera
If your stay-at-home job involves conference calls, you need a quality headset and video camera to use with your laptop. It’s OK to use the camera and microphone tools built into your laptop or tablet, but make sure they are good enough to prevent glitches during meetings. Ideally, you should get a quality headset that has a noise-cancelling microphone feature so that people in your conference call don’t hear kids in the background. A Bluetooth headset is also helpful because it can connect to your laptop and smartphone. That way, your can wear the headset during the day and take calls over the internet or through your phone no matter where you are.
Speaking of phones, you need a connected smartphone to stay on top of email while shuttling the kids around after school. For instance, you can take care of quick email messages while watching your kids’ soccer games or get notifications of problems at work when you’re away from your computer. For help choosing the best smartphone for you, click here.
There are all sorts of productivity apps to help you stay on task when working from home. You can download them to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Some of the best apps for work-at-home moms are Awesome Note to track your daily schedule and keep all of your notes in one place; Intuition: Mom’s Personal Assistant to create to-do lists, shopping lists, and more; and word processing apps like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. There’s a productivity app to help you perform almost all work-related tasks faster and to keep you focused.
A Good Printer
Depending on your job, a good printer can help you get more done when working from home. For instance, you can make copies in a flash, scan documents, and print out forms. Don’t go too high-tech with your printer though; just get something that is reliable and can perform the tasks you need with ease. There is a huge price range in what you can get, and it doesn’t make sense to pay for features you wouldn’t use.
If you get all of the tools mentioned in this list, you’ll be set up well to work from home. The next challenge is figuring out how to throw kids in the mix, and juggling your time between work and home life. It can be done, but you’ll need to find your groove to stay productive.