I want to work.
I really want to be able to do something productive and add some much needed income to the family coffers. I’ve worked for most of my adult life, since I left education, apart from when I was having my children and when they were very young. Even when I first became ill, and for many years afterwards, I could work. But now I can’t. I am restricted to my bed in my living room, in my house due to disability and ill-health so I can’t go out to work as working seems to mean going out.
But why not? Why can’t I work from home? What’s stopping me?
We are living in the twenty-first century, a technological age. Why not use technology to our advantage. I have a computer. I have access to the internet, I have a telephone, I can access conference calling. I have spent a lot of time and money on my education and have the exam certificates to prove it. I have many years workplace experience. I have a wide variety of skills. I have many abilities. Why can’t I not use them? Just because I am unable to leave my house I am no longer able to do undertake the type of role I am trained to do.
Why this preoccupation with having to be in an office? Why?
I know there are some jobs that can be done from home but they are quite hard to find. Well, I’m finding them hard to find anyway. All the jobs I am finding, that I am qualified for, appear to require me to go somewhere. And that’s not possible.
I recognise that there are some jobs that can’t be undertaken from home but, equally, there are many roles that can. Many roles requiring many different skill sets. And there are many disabled people who would love to do those jobs if they could just find them.
Here’s an idea.
If the government wants to get disabled people off welfare benefits and into work why not encourage employers to think about the jobs they have available. Why not pay a small supplement to employers to create some roles that can be done from home. Do they all tasks have to be done by employees working at a specific location? How many of those jobs could be done by someone working from their own home, if they have a computer, internet access and a telephone? Sure, there may need to be some thought given to getting work and materials to an employee’s home but surely that can be factored in when the actual role is envisaged.
And how many of these jobs have to full time or undertaken by just one person? We all know about job-sharing, is there anywhere where it says that job-sharers have to work in the same place or from an office? Surely it’s not an insurmountable problem to make many jobs into tasks that can be done by one person, two people working together from different locations or whole teams of home based employees. As long as those employees can communicate with each other and with the employer by phone or Skpe where’s the problem?
Why can’t the government help employers provide home-workers with the equipment they may need to be able to work from home such as desktop or laptop computers or telephones or fax machines. Why can’t the government help with training individuals to use technology so they can work from home. Why can’t the government help with the cost of getting materials from a workplace to an employee’s home?
Maybe there needs to be some specialist job agencies where home based roles of all types can be advertised. If employers knew where they could find good home-based employees and where disabled people, who are unable to go out to work, know they can find a wide variety of home-based roles, surely this would be beneficial to everyone.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that everyone can work. There are many people who are not able to work at all, and will never be able to work, either by going out to an office or by working from home and these people need to be properly supported as well. They need to receive sufficient welfare benefits to be able to live a full and fulfilling life and not just subsistence amounts so they have to struggle for everything. They need to be supported by well trained and well qualified carers who can help them to live and enjoy the best life possible, however long or short that life might prove to be. Just because someone is either born disabled or becomes disabled later, due to illness or accident, they should not be made to feel they have been thrown on the scrap-heap and abandoned just because they can’t go out to work for some reason.
We all get just one chance at life, we all deserve to live the best life we possibly can. Let those people who can work do so, help those people who want to work but have difficulties find something fulfilling and satisfying to do and support those who can’t work at all not to feel like a burden but to enjoy the life they have.
Treat everybody the way you would like to be treated yourself and give everyone a chance.