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  1. Go back ten years or so and a mobile workforce didn’t widely exist.  Before the era of smart phones, laptops and being able to connect to the internet literally anywhere, even from a device in your pocket, the thought of being able to work in such a way would have felt very futuristic.  Skip to 2018 and more people are able to work remotely than ever before.  It’s a new era of flexible working, which for a home working parent, like me, has many benefits.

    I’ve not yet myself worked remotely as a full time employee, but I do regularly take part in stock and equipment audits as well as mystery shopping tasks for large retailers.  These are often one-off, short term, freelance positions if you will.  It’s part of a growing gig economy which makes use of a mobile workforce, saving companies money by not employing people to travel the country, instead placing real-time consumers in local stores to capture the data the retailers need. Related: Get paid doing simple tasks from your phone with Streetbees

    There are a variety of apps that allow you to pick and choose the jobs you’d like to do and fit it around a busy lifestyle.  It’s a great way to make extra cash around parenting, add another side hustle to a self-employed home income, or even with enough dedication as a full time role.  It’s not for everyone as the income and work available is inconsistent, but thanks to being able to work mobile, it’s a brilliant option for some parents. 

    Many of these apps now offer an entire day’s work too.  Recruitment agencies are also recruiting via apps offering short term contracts and temporary positions.  The ease at which work can now be found and a mobile worker located is ever increasing in this digital age.

    As well as the mobile workforce that can be recruited for live retail execution, normal office type businesses are also seeing the benefit of staff being able to work more flexibly and on a mobile basis.  It’s not just for those who need to travel afar anymore.  The majority of office workers can work remotely if they have the right equipment and an internet connection.  Not only are mobile workforces becoming increasingly popular as a means for flexible workers to earn extra cash, they’re also becoming an increasingly popular way to work in a conventional role. 

    I can understand the benefits of working remotely as I work both from home self-employed and also as part of a mobile workforce team on the go.  Many of my pre-kid office roles could easily have been completed remotely, from home, and it’s a shame this option wasn’t available when I had to make the big decision of whether to return to work full time in an office or stay at home with my new daughter.  If I’d have had the option to work remotely and flexibly  I’m certain I’d have returned to my old career. Related: The top 3 ways I made money from home in 2017

    Below I look at the pros and cons of a mobile workforce.

    child-1073638_1280

    The benefits

    Better work-life balance

    If the hours can also be flexible then you can have more control over your working pattern and allow work to fit in to suit you, rather than you having to fit your life around work.  Working 9-5 Monday to Friday could be a thing of the past.  For parents this is a massive bonus as we can attend our children’s assemblies and take them to their check-ups without fear of having to ask for time away from the office.

    Learn new skills remotely

    If you’re concerned you need new skills and have no time to train, think again.  Even education can now be mobile and online.  With the likes of Skype, training can be performed virtually via phone calls and live online video.  Employees can learn new skills from home with online college courses, universities and qualifications.  Even as a parent who’s trying to work around childcare, we can have access to tutors by email and online test prep resources enabling us to study in our own time around our commitments.

    Flexibility

    It provides flexibility for our busy lifestyles.  If hours don’t need to be set then we can choose to work at the hours that suit us most and are our most productive.  Parents no longer need to worry about taking time off work if children are ill or on school holidays.  If the hours can be flexible and work can be mobile, then it can all be adapted to suit both the needs of the parent and the business.  If going down the self-employed gig route, then work can be chosen as and when it’s needed with no commitments.

    Easy for mums to return to work

    It’s a brilliant way of us mums being able to return to work.  Many computer based roles are suitable to be completed from home.  If a new mum wants to provide child care for her child, but also wants to work from home, and the current role can allow for it, then surely the business should allow for it.  Plenty of roles require the sole use of a computer which should allow for greater flexibility on location, allowing many parents to retain their roles post maternity leave.  Thanks to instant online messaging, phone calls email and video, staff can communicate instantly even if they’re not in the same location.    Some parents may not be able to commute to an office during normal office hours and many cannot afford the extortionate childcare costs.  Being able to work remotely and flexibly can solve these issues and give more new parents the freedom to return to work if they wish.

    Location independent

    Many roles that require the sole use of a laptop and internet connection are location independent roles.  We can work from home, hot desks or even a local coffee shop.  We can even go away for a week and work from a beach in beautiful surroundings.  If every aspect of the role can be done remotely then we have greater flexibility in where we choose to live and how we live our lives.  We don’t have to be a stone’s throw away from an office or living in the centre of a city because it’s convenient for work.

    Low staff turnover

    If staff are happier and can maintain a better work-life balance then they are less likely to leave.  A happy committed employee is beneficial to a business.  A role in which we feel content and settled is great for us as employees.  It’s a win-win situation.

    Greater choice of roles

    As location is no longer a factor, more jobs are available to everyone.  That role you couldn’t apply for ten years ago, because it meant relocating the whole family, is now available to anyone anywhere as it can be completed remotely.  Employers get their pick of the best talent from all over, not just nearby, and employees get the choice of roles they live far away from.

    No more commutes

    If you no longer have to commute to work there will be less pollution in the environment and lots of time saved.  Working days will seem shorter as the time to get to and from work is removed.  This means more time to spend with family or doing things you enjoy.  Plus you’ll save money on travel costs.

    The benefits of a mobile workforce model for parents- home office

    Potential issues with a mobile workforce

    Time and attendance

    One drawback for employers could be whether the remote working staff are trustworthy.  If mobile working is agreed, will the staff pull their weight?  How will they know the hours the staff have worked?  Luckily there are systems for attendance  that can be used remotely on an employee’s digital device, through an app for example.  A previous role I had required me to be a lone and mobile worker.  I simply clocked in and out using an app on my smart phone which not only clocked my hours, but it also tracked my location.  My employer knew I was exactly where I was meant to be.  Plus as a lone worker it gave me extra peace of mind knowing my location was being recorded in case of an emergency.  I was paid for the hours I worked and the app made light work for the HR department.  It simply uploaded my hours and was integrated with their payroll system.  As a parent fitting work in around children it’s easy to clock in and out several times per day.  Alternatively an employer can choose to trust the employee and see the work is being completed.

    Access control

    One issue with a mobile workforce, if working for a variety of companies as a self-employed individual, is access control.  I briefly ran into this as a problem when I was to perform an audit as a one-off job.  I did not have anything with my name on and no formal ID for the company I was to audit or for the company I was representing.  I could have been anyone.  I’m sure this problem will be easily solved in the future if mobile employees need access to various buildings, they could be provided with a virtual access card or ID on their mobile phones.  Problem solved.

    A mobile workforce has huge benefits not only to parents looking for a better work-life balance, but to everyone.  As more roles become computer based it only makes sense for people to be able to work in a place and at a time that suits them.  Location independent roles will give employees the power to live a better quality lifestyle with the freedom to reside where their heart desires.  Employees will benefit from a more productive, committed and content workforce which can only be a good thing.  Less money will be spent on renting offices and recruiting staff.  I can only see that a mobile workforce model is a win-win situation for the future of the workplace landscape.

    The benefits of a mobile workforce model for parents

    *collaborative post

     

  2. Welcome to my Money Making Mums guest series.

    As you’ve probably guessed, I love making money from home.  As a busy mum to two young children, working from home for myself provides me with the flexibility I need to care for my children and avoid high full time childcare costs.  It also means I get to do what I love.  I’m an advocate of earning money online and from apps, and I’m always looking for new ways to make more income from home.  I’ve decided to invite other bloggers and money making mums to share even more ways us busy mums can make money from home.  If you’d like to feature in this guest series please do get in touch.

    Introducing Perry from Stupid is the Norm

    Today I have a slightly different guest post for you by Perry Wilson who runs the blog www.stupidisthenorm.co.uk.  I’ve been reading a lot of Perry’s blogs recently and they are very good.  They make a lot of sense.

    It’s all very well us making money and finding ways to earn extra income as busy parents, but what is best to do with that money? 

    In my early twenties I’d have blown the lot.  I got a buzz from spending my cash and owning lots of things (mainly clothes), but now in my thirties things are different.  I have a family and responsibilities.  I prefer a more minimalist lifestyle.  I don’t need or want to consume as much.  I’ve started thinking about my future and my retirement.  I’ve started putting away towards a pension as well as a savings account for emergencies or the future.

    Perry writes a lot about this.  About how most people just blow all their cash instead of investing it wisely and becoming wealthier.

    I hope you enjoy today’s guest post:

    money making mums an abnormal income stream perry stupid is the norm guest

    An Abnormal Income Stream

    Not everyone wants to be wealthy, but I don’t know anyone who couldn’t do with a little bit more money. 

    We sell our (and others) junk on eBay, we work overtime, we do matched betting, and car boot sales. But what are we doing with all this extra cash? Are we just spending it on other stuff? What’s the point of selling stuff on eBay or at car boot sales, only to use the money to buy more stuff to sell on eBay and car boot sales?

    Why not instead, put the money to work? Because if you ALWAYS spend all your money, you’ll NEVER be wealthy (just saying this in case you actually do want to become wealthy). 

    Investing the extra cash you make creates ANOTHER income stream. I’ve just checked my pension fund, and there’s 31% more money in there than I’ve invested. It’s FREE money. I haven’t had to work for it. It’s unearned. 

    Wealth isn’t defined by what you earn, it’s defined by what you accumulate. It’s not what’s on your drive, it’s what’s in your bank. 

    When you have enough money invested, you just can’t spend the interest/growth fast enough. It just keeps compounding. That’s how the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett keep making more money. It’s not because they’re part of some international conspiracy, it’s just maths. 

    Their secret is not that they’re members of the illuminati, it’s because they both started investing from a young age, and growth plus time has done the hard work for them. 

    For me it’s too late. I’m 56. There just isn’t enough time left to me to take advantage of the compound growth required to threaten Mr Gates or Buffett’s positions as amongst the world’s wealthiest. 

    It IS still possible for me to become modestly wealthy however. I can, with some effort, accrue £300,000 in 10 years. It’s not a fortune, but it’s sufficient to buy me a 50’ Bénéteau yacht moored in Gibraltar marina, and funds enough to sail the Mediterranean in my dotage. It’ll do me. 

    And all this because I decided to save and not spend for 10 years. I worked instead of wasting. I created another income stream. 

    There’s a price to pay to become wealthy, and I’m prepared to pay it. Not everyone is. For some it’s a price too high to pay. But if you want to become wealthy by any degree, the journey begins when you spend less than you earn. 

     

    Thank you so much to Perry for taking part in my guest series.

    Would you like to take part?  Find a contact form in my top menu or email [email protected] - not a mum?  No worries!  This guest series is all about inspiring parents to earn their own income and realising they have more than two choices of going out to an employed job or being a stay at home parent.  Of course if you choose to do either of those options that's absolutely fine, no judgement here, but lots of mums, like me, didn't realise there was another way to make money by the many self-employed options available nowadays.  If you earn from home, parent or not, and it's suitable for parents then you can take part.

    Check out the rest of the series here: Money Making Mums

    Please pin me:

     An Abnormal Income Stream

  3. Welcome to today’s #winitwednesday giveaway!

    Today I’m giving away a Lylia Rose GOODY BAG to one lucky entrant!

    The contents are:

    • Bird print zip purse
    • Fish print iPad case
    • Anchor necklace
    • Chunky wing charm bracelet

    If you love fashion accessories and printed scarves, do pop over to my online fashion accessories boutique for a good browse!  The minimum spend is only £5 per order and 2nd class UK delivery is free!  

    Win this in my blog giveaway:

    WIN A LYLIA ROSE GOODY BAG GIVEAWAY 240118

    The full terms and conditions are below, but simply enter using one or more of the entry methods in the Rafflecopter widget below and remember, if you win your delivery address must be in the UK.

    Good luck!

    Check out my Giveaways section for more amazing prizes!

    ENTER HERE:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     
    For a chance to win a scarf of your choice every month, simply subscribe here:
     

    Click here for more giveaways!

     

    Term and Conditions:

    • There will be one winner
    • The prize is the item(s) pictured above
    • The prize must be claimed within 28 days of the first winner's notification email being sent.
    • There is no cash alternative
    • There is no limit on the number of entries per person, follow the instructions to enable multiple entries
    • Winners will be notified within 28 days
    • The winner must claim their prize within 28 days or it will be forfeited
    • All entries must be received by the date and time specified
    • The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter & notified by email
    • Giveaways are open to the UK only
    • The winner's name and county is available upon request
    • Entrants will be signed up to the Lylia Rose newsletter to receive blog posts and giveaways.  Subscribers are also entered into a monthly giveaway to win a scarf of your choice in my online fashion boutique. You can unsubscribe at any time, but it's a great idea to stay signed up to receive giveaways to your inbox and to stay entered in the monthly prize draw.