The New Normal Is the Newest Way to Women's Financial Independence For many women who were keen on a work-from-home role but never thought it would happen, it's literally a dream come true

By Neha Bagaria

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It's official. We're in the golden "work-from-home' era. In tandem, we're also in the golden era of financial independence for women. And what better time to discuss it than around the occasion of India's 74th Independence Day.

It has been only six months since the corporate world deep-dived into the work-from-home routine, but it's no longer the new normal. It is a way of life.

The COVID-19 situation might have thrown our lives out of gear, but it has opened up several opportunities especially for women across the country to take up jobs, and for companies who now have access to a larger candidate pool that is no longer hindered by geographical boundaries to hire seamlessly online.

So, for many women who were keen on a work-from-home role but never thought it would happen, it's literally a dream come true. Not only has it opened up employment opportunities, it has also created sources of income for women whose domestic concerns have always overshadowed their career aspirations.

More Job Opportunities for Women in Tier 2 and Tier 3 Cities

Around 70 per cent of women in India relocate after marriage and a significant portion of these migrate to tier II and tier III cities in the country where job opportunities are low, stemming the woman's career growth. Work-from-home jobs open up a world of opportunities for such women who already have the skills, qualifications, experience and drive to take up their careers again with gusto, and are waiting for the right window of opportunity to make that leap into their professional journey.

With the corporate world turning to a number of flexible working options, the ratio of women taking charge of their careers is also on the rise.

Show Me The Money

It is heartening to see that women no longer contemplate taking up work-from-home jobs on the basis of credibility and/or pay. They are more likely to opt for a flexible option today than ever before, thanks to top companies across industries world-wide opting for remote work for their employees.

Full-time roles are all being taken over by the work-from-home routine which is no longer frowned upon or seen as a low-productivity factor.

A Spike in Work-From-Home Job Postings

On the JobsForHer platform alone, in March there was a 30 per cent increase in work-from-home jobs, the period from April to July saw it increase to 62 per cent indicative of the positive trend.

And that's good news for everyone.

Work-From-Home: Then Vs Now

Back in the times before the coronavirus hit us, a work-from-home role meant that your pay scale would amount to half, if not less, than what you'd earn in a full-time corporate job. So, before you jumped at an opportunity that allowed flexibility, you'd weigh the pros and cons of taking up a job that you could do from home.

Today, however, with top companies hiring employees in full-time work-from-home positions, women are also open to exploring options that will give them the financial independence they crave.

Questions that used to plague a woman's mind—such as, how many hours can I dedicate to my job? Will I be able to break even with my monthly expenditure? Am I ready to redefine my salary, job security?—are no longer an issue.

Times have changed and so have working preferences. You get to work without having to hustle between office and home, and you get paid well. Whether you are looking to start or restart your career, work-from-home is a great option. One can no longer underestimate the potential of a well-paying work-from-home job.

Rise in Women's Participation after a Crisis

Research has shown that there is a spike in women's participation in contributing to family income after a crisis when they feel the crunch of having a sole breadwinner whose job is now uncertain. Women are thus encouraged to focus on their careers and become equal breadwinners, thereby increasing their financial independence.

Earn. Invest. Repeat

The work-from-home concept is not just about earning money but also saving and creating wealth. Picture this. You work from the comfort of your home in a job which gives you satisfaction and financial freedom. It gives you an opportunity to save because, clearly, there is nowhere to spend all the money you've earned except on essentials. Limited travel. No schools. A ban on crowded spaces—from theatres to malls and restaurants. A ban on get-togethers and high-profile weddings, festivities and celebrations. A curfew that allows you to get out of your house for just what you need, and get back at a particular time.

In short, it's a good time for savings. It's a good time for women in the world to take stock of the situation and rise. It's a good time for women to start, restart and rise in their careers.

Neha Bagaria

Founder & CEO, JobsForHer

Neha Bagaria is the Founder, CEO JobsForher. Founded on March 8, 2015, connecting portal that enables women on a professional break to restart their career. Neha graduated from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, with honors and triple majors in Finance, Marketing and MIS.

During her final semester there, she became the College Board Representative of India, and founded her first company – Paragon,and introduced the Advanced Placement Program to Indian students. Neha has worked with Kemwell Biopharma, where she handled the HR, Finance, and Marketing aspects of the pharmaceuticals manufacturing business.However, despite experiencing positive growth and development with Kemwell, she felt that her passion for social entrepreneurship remained stronger than ever.

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