Mommy Conventions: Business Trips or Paid Vacations?
Everyone wants to work from home these days, and jobs and companies which allow telecommuting can be few and far between. Working mothers often find the greatest work-life balance when they are allowed to work from home. The fantasy that many people imagine is that of a person who is allowed the luxury of sitting in their pajamas and slippers in front of a laptop, while sipping lattes. All the while, the rest of us have to drag our begrudging behinds into an office to hang out in a cubicle.
In 2012, it was reported that 14% of all American mothers blogged, with approximately 3.9 million mothers in the U.S. who identified themselves as bloggers. This means that a large part of the work-at-home community consists of mommy bloggers, interior decorators, crafters, social media professionals, and tech-savvy moms who work solely from their homes and face the challenges that accompany the dream, daily.
(Photo Credit: Suzanne Shahar/Flickr)
But people who actually do telecommute know that working from home might carry downfalls, and that the dream may be far less than what we imagine. There are still children to tend to and housework to be completed. Women who work from home may struggle with distraction and boredom, and working from home can be downright lonely, with little time available to even attempt any form of a social life. Let’s face it, regardless of whether you work from home or in an office cubicle, everyone needs a break.
In order to break up some of the monotony and isolation, many companies offer conventions, get-togethers and business trips that cater directly to the work-at-home mom. This gives their employee a much needed “vacation”, and allows the opportunity to attend training sessions and panels, a chance to mingle with co-workers and other women in their fields, and provides somewhat of a break from the seclusion that accompanies telecommuting.
From a marketing standpoint, these business trips pose a win-win situation. Marketers, travel agents and event planners target these women with conferences and conventions, and then work at home mothers have a legitimate, guilt-free reason to go on a trip. For a brief moment, the daily duties of children and home are replaced with a time to socialize with other moms who work from home as well.
At the same time, many wonder if mommy bloggers really need a vacation and whether these conventions disguised as “business trips” are just ways for marketers to make more money. In the same study in 2012, it was noted that only about 500 of the 3.9 million mommy bloggers in the U.S. are actually influential in any way. The question becomes whether companies and marketers are preying on the dreams of these bloggers, or whether they are actually doing them a favor by providing an escape from the doldroms of working from home.
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