31.7.14

Mrs Jones: On the Importance of Working from Home

So I did it! I have survived the first three weeks as a (part-time) working Mama of two. I really hate that phrase working mother, because of course all mothers work don't they?! Whilst the days I am in the office are mentally more exhausting because of the super early mornings and of course the job itself, the days I spend with children are physically more challenging but infinitely more rewarding.  



One thing that did make a huge difference in helping me integrate back in to the work place was the fact that for the first two weeks,  I was 'allowed' to work a day from home. Unfortunately my boss has since told me that it isn't an option for me to do more of this in future, and I can't understand why. I work as a social media manager so my job can easily be done remotely on occasion. 

The difference being able to work from home makes for me as a mother, is enormous. It made me feel that for once I was being treated as a worthy member of my department, valued and trusted to work without supervision, because of course working from home is often synonymous with the phrase 'pulling a sickie'! I felt like I actually got a lot more work done at home too because I could actually focus on the task at hand rather than having to stop and make inane chit chat with whoever walks past my desk in work. My mother was also there with me, helping look after little E and Rufio and I was able to stop for a break every now and then, help with nappy changes, lunch/dinner times and the occasional sneaky snuggle.

From a practical point of view, as a family we didn't have to wake up quite so early in the morning as there was no commute. Consequently everyone was in a much better mood throughout the day ( myself included) and getting ready was slightly less hurried and therefore less stressful all round. 

Most of all it made me feel empowered, that I could still be there for my children whilst juggling my job at the same time. For just two days, I felt far more inspired to get on with my work, I was more focused and therefore productive and ultimately I felt far more satisfied in my job. 

The government always seems eager to push mothers back in to the workplace, without a second thought to the emotional impact this has on us as human beings. I often feel like so much is expected of me, as a woman, a mother, an employee, a colleague etc and creating a work / life balance often feels unachievable.
  
Whilst promoting flexible working hours is certainly a step in the right direction, I also feel that much more should be done to allow working from home as a viable option for mothers in similar positions to myself. From a business point of view it means one less person in the office, lower overheads and so more profitability for businesses in the long run. Equally, greater job satisfaction is known to decreases absenteeism.   

Of course you can argue that you can't reproduce the interaction that goes on in the workplace remotely. Last year, Yahoo actually banned employees from working at home because of this and I feel that this move was slightly shameful, especially given that their CEO Marissa Mayer is herself a new mother! With all the technology available to us in 2014 there is no reason why a combination of working from home and office should be an option available to mothers!

I don't usually write opinionated posts but this is something that I feel very strongly about as you can probably tell. Are you a Mama who works ( aside from bringing up your children of course) and how do you feel about having the option to work from home, I would love to hear your views.

1 comment

  1. I have recently returned to work after taking 4.5 years off to raise the family. I have been very fortunate that the job I am in is very flexible. It's only 4 days a week, but 2 of those I am able to work from home (or more if necessary, as well as flexi hours!).

    I think flexible hours and the option to work from home is great to get more women back in to the workplace. It definitely helps, that's for sure!

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