Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What is a WAHM?

The term WAHM describes a mother who has chosen to work at home in some capacity, either in an entrepreneurial role or a telecommuting position. WAHM stands for "work at home mom" and is often paired with the terms WAHD (work at home dad) and WAHP (work at home parent).

The terms, WAHP, WAHM, and WAHD became much more prevalent in the 1990's thanks to the increased opportunities that were made available with the growth of the internet. The internet opened up more ways that an existing business owner could do business as well as new ways to start and grow a business. By 2004, over 20 million people worked from home at least part time. Today there are more opportunities than ever for a parent to work from home.
Many mothers choose to work from home by starting their own home based business. One reason for this is so that she can feel a sense of accomplishment while staying at home to raise children. Others have the desire to bring home income without the traditional expenses that are associated with a job or business outside the home such as gas, work clothing, lunch out, and childcare expenses. The WAHM has more flexibility in her work schedule and can incorporate family tasks into her day while running her business. A WAHM-owned business may include and eBay business or other online store, home party consultant, daycare provider, or independent contractor.

Alternatively, a mother may work from home for a traditional employer. Telecommuting is becoming more prevalent in today's technology-driven society. Employers find that there are many benefits to allowing employees to work at least part-time from a home-based office. Studies have shown that productivity increases and company office expenses decrease. Working at home reduces the spread of illness and reduces a company's carbon footprint and energy usage as well. Employers also find that employee turnover and absenteeism decreases and morale is higher when telecommuting is implemented. All of these company benefits present a great opportunity for a WAHM to balance caring for her family and working a traditional job.
For a WAHM, the cost and time saving benefits are substantial. It is estimated that time savings per year could be as much as 15 to 25 work days due to the elimination of time spent commuting. The money savings from reducing travel and other costs that are work related could be between $4,000 and $21,000 per year.

As companies and families start to further realize the benefits for everyone involved, opportunities for working from home will become much more common.