Keeping a regular job outside the home while dealing with type 2 diabetes can be challenging for many diabetics. Depending on the state of their overall health, diabetics can fall sick easily.
To maintain their health, they need to manage their blood glucose several times a day. They need to eat healthy and make lifestyle changes consistent with keeping blood sugar, body weight, and other medical conditions in check.
Many diabetics are economically inactive due to fluctuating sugar levels and related health problems.
A study shows that unemployment rates are high among people with diabetes, especially younger diabetics between ages 16-25.
Diabetics are also less likely to get hired and more likely to live in poverty. Employers often worry about their performance efficiency and health insurance costs of hiring them.
If you’re a diabetic who has been struggling to keep a job, you could consider earning a living from home. Work-at-home jobs, also known as telecommuting or working remotely, can give you that flexible schedule to earn while taking care of your health.
Weighing the pros and cons of working from home as a diabetic can help you decide whether you want to resign from your traditional 9-5.
Living and Working with Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to process sugars, or glucose, in the bloodstream. This causes sugar levels to rise and result in symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, and frequent urination.
To add to this, external factors, such as stress on the job, can trigger symptoms of diabetes.
Eating the right foods, exercising, and taking insulin helps the pancreas to process glucose more efficiently.
While at work, you will need to eat on time, rest, and take breaks to check blood sugars or give yourself insulin. You also need time off to keep doctor appointments. However, employers are not always willing or accommodating. This can affect job performance or result in you having to take days off due to illness.
By starting your own home-based business or working remotely for an employer, you can continue to maintain your standard of living while protecting your health. Perhaps you can even convince your current employer to allow you to work from home.
Pros of Working from Home
There are several advantages people with diabetes can enjoy by working from home. This is besides being able to literally work in your pajamas!
Being your own boss
When you’re the boss, you get to set your own schedule and choose the level of workload. Furthermore, “big brother” won’t be around to constantly breathe down your neck. Being your own boss can keep your adrenaline levels at bay, reduce work-related anxiety, and can significantly reduce stress levels.
The opportunity to work flexible, part-time hours is desirable, especially for people with health problems or family commitments.
Being able to pick and choose what days or hours you work allows you the freedom to take breaks, check blood sugar, eat, and take insulin on your terms. You can easily run to the grocery store, keep your doctor’s appointment, or tend to other commitments without worrying about applying for time off.
No morning traffic
Say goodbye to the crazy morning traffic. Driving to work can be extremely stressful having to face intense traffic to get to work. The only commuting you will be doing is telecommuting from the comfort of your own home.
You also save time and money not having to sit in traffic, buy gas, or maintain your vehicle.
Working from home means you can create a workspace that suits your personal taste. No running into angry faces or getting sucked into stressful workplace politics.
Just grab your morning “cup of Joe” and get right to work in a relaxed environment with some smooth jazz playing in the background. Working in a low-stress environment can help improve your health, reduce diabetes symptoms., and lower the number of sick days
Another benefit of working from “home” is being able to work from any location. For example, if you do freelance writing or editing, all you need is an internet connection, your computer, tablet, or phone and you’re good to go. Taking your “office” wherever you go means you can be in another country, on the beach, or in a park and still be making money.
You may have to build a client base if you work independently. As an independent contractor, you will have the leverage to choose who you want to work for. This will help you avoid clients who are demanding or difficult to work with and, of course, keep your stress levels low.
More time for activities
Working regular shifts outside the home often leaves little time to enjoy the things you love or spend time with family and friends. Working remotely allows you the opportunity to carve out time to care for young children, make healthy meals, exercise, and spend time with loved ones.
Cons of Working From Home
As beneficial as working from your home office can be, you should consider the downsides of doing so.
To make a living from home, you will need the right equipment. Some jobs, e.g., data entry or buying and selling online, require you to have a computer, headset, internet, or a landline phone. You may have to invest in these products if you don’t already have them.
Telecommute jobs often require special skills set. For example, to get a data entry, writing, editing, medical billing and coding, or customer service job, you will need to have knowledge, training, and experience to be hired. This makes applying for online or telecommute jobs highly competitive.
Income and benefits
Many work-from-home jobs don’t pay as much as traditional jobs. In fact, earnings are likely to depend on how much work you put in. But this can be a trade-off, considering you will save on commuting to and from work and buying meals. Additionally, you are less likely to enjoy benefits such as paid vacation and health insurance coverage.
Telecommuting is not right for everyone. For example, some jobs require you to meet deadlines. If you’re selling products or services, you will need to stay on top of order fulfillment. You will, therefore, need to remain organized and manage time well to maximize performance and earning levels. Not to mention, you must keep good records and file your own taxes if you are self-employed.
The home environment itself can be a distraction just because you are in the comfort of your own home. Some jobs, e.g., call center customer service, requires a quiet background. Children playing and screaming, phones ringing, and other types of noise you may be unable to control can hinder work efficiency.
Work never ends
You could find yourself working all hours of the day or night to satisfy customers or meet deadlines. This could happen if your job requires you to work various shifts, you don’t manage your time well, or you take assignments that are due at odd hours.
Work from Home Ideas for Diabetics
Here are a few ideas to get you started on making a living from home whether it’s as an employer of a company or starting your own business.
Most of these jobs are posted online and you can also do the application process or get clients via the internet.
- Customer service agent
- Virtual administrative assistant
- Data entry clerk
- Freelance writer/editor
- Event planning
- Buy and sell/online store (eBay, Amazon, Shopify)
- Convert a spare room into an Airbnb rental
- Dog walker or animal sitter
- Teacher or trainer
Deciding to work from home can be both exciting and beneficial but comes with its own unique challenges.
They may include low pay, buying your own health insurance, or dealing with demanding clients or customer. Since your overall goal is managing diabetes, reducing stress, and staying healthy, you may decide that earning a living from home is more than worth it.