Monday 10 December 2018

Meet the skilled mums who swapped the office - and the commute - for more flexibility and family time

Margaret at the Expedia Jordan office
Margaret at the Expedia Jordan office
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Have you ever thought of working from home, but were not sure if it was feasible?

For some people it is simply not an option while others prefer the hustle and bustle of the office environment.

Two people who have decided to work from home spoke to about how it has benefited them.

Margaret, mum of two, working for Expedia

Margaret, who has worked for global travel company Expedia since 2010, decided in 2015 that she wanted to return home to Ireland from Canada.

The mum of two young children returned to Ireland in early 2017 where she continued to work for Expedia, but from her home.

"Expedia has been great – I have just got a promotion – when I first moved back my manager was based in US, Expedia is very fluid in terms of how they manage things, after I was working for a couple of months, I was working a lot closer with team in India, and I then moved to report into a manger in India," Margaret said.

In terms of the benefits of working from home, Margaret cites flexibility in terms of family life, and, in a job that requires working with people across the globe, she says that working from home allows her to be more flexible with her time.

"As a technology project manager I have to be working with people in all of our locations, and I’m smack bang in the middle of time zones," she says.

"I can honestly say I have not been happier, working for home gives so much flexibility with the kids, my husband also works remotely and between us we can work around hours and meetings."

"Not having the commute is also great."

The ability to work from home was definitely a big consideration when Margaret moved back home from Canada with her husband and two children.

"We knew when we were moving back that we didn’t want the expense of living in Dublin and we wanted to be closer to our families."

In terms of the challenges of working from home, Margaret cited broadband, "it’s not as strong as it is in Dublin and there can be issues with it."

Niamh, mum of one, runs her own business

Niamh, owner of skin care company, Holos Skincare, said that while she has an office, she is "always on the road."

"You don’t really need an office, you just need a space for your laptop and notes," she says.

Similar to Margaret, Niamh cites working in different time zones as a major benefit to working from home.

Niamh says she spends about 50pc of her time in her company’s Enniscorthy office, with the rest of the time spent working from home or on the road.

Niamh owns skin care company Holos
Niamh owns skin care company Holos

"While we make everything in Enniscorthy, a lot of time I would be out of the office."

With a young daughter, Niamh says that the flexibility of working from home is great.

"I don’t know how parents do it. I don’t really understand why people have to be in the office, unless broadband [is an issue] –and it’s mostly okay at home."

"My husband also runs his own company and it works really well for us."

Holos manufacture plant based skin care, most of its customers in Ireland, but the company is expanding overseas this year.

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