We live in a world that is no longer governed by laws of geography. Contrary to what many people think, when you call up the number of a service company, it is not the company staff who take the call but a call centre company that can be located just about anywhere in the world.
In the virtual work place, your staff can be located anywhere and can be easily utilized to provide a seamless service.
Virtual office for women at work
That’s what Kim Shepherd discovered as the CEO of Decision Toolbox, a boutique staffing firm based in California. A totally virtual company, Shepherd’s firm has the edge over competition she says because of her amazing employees – out of the 100, 70 are women while 60 are moms.
Describing her business model, she says that she built the company on a platform that has become a ‘magnet’ for moms.
She is not a mother herself but was brought up as one of four children of a single mom.
She strongly believes in giving a harmonious work-life balance and had empowered her staff of working moms to do just that.
A 2013 survey conducted by LinkedIn and Citi showed that 90% women and 71% of men confirm that the ability to work from home is a key driver to career satisfaction.
Shepherd believes that “Gen Y” women are driving the way the workplace works, enabling them to manage their lives and careers in a seamless manner.
Analysts believe that companies such as Decision Toolbox have risen way above the traditional corporate hierarchy ; running a virtual company enables employees to be governed by their own schedules.
There’s no need for day offs and leave ; if you are not available you are not available. But what drives such businesses is the commitment and the capacity shown by moms who work from home , who are committed to making sure the company thrives.
Work ethic for women in business
It’s got a lot to do with the work ethic as well. Decision Toolbox has those who are content earning $160,000- they also have those who are content with less of an income. Shepherd says they positioned the jobs so that “we attract people with strong at-home work ethics. If you don’t have it you will get killed.”
A strong work ethic is something mothers everywhere can relate to. When you run a home, you know you need to have a work ethic that will get the work done. The same set of principles works well for a company, especially if you are working in a virtual capacity.
For starters, Shepherd who is based in Southern California says her personal assistant who is based in Atlanta, starts work at 6 a.m ; she next takes several hours off at mid-day to spend with her two daughters.
She is back at her desk later in the evening. “This way, she gets work done when her mind is clear and she is focused. I get someone available for me most of 12 hours in the day.” Says her boss.
Working moms & women in business
Going by the company’s bottom line, the working moms concept is working – numbers don’t lie. Decision Toolbox is a three-time Inc. 5,000 winner, reporting 2013 sales of $7.8 million — 46 percent growth in three years. Shepherd expects sales of at least $9 million for 2014.
So what works here? Moms who work from home make up a considerable percentage of working women. If all those women can come back to the work force on a basis of working from home, not only incomes that will be boosted but also careers and the work force itself.
Flexible extra hours
In actual fact, working from home means you are working extra hours, especially the hours that you typically cover to make up for the hours spent during household and child related chores.
But the advantage is that your mind is at ease and the kids are happy to have you around, even though you are working.
Lessons from Decision Toolbox are many ; for all of us who believe that mothers working from home have so much to offer to the professional workforce out there.