Working full-time and being a mum is really tough, especially if your employer is a complete ass and doesn’t give you any flexibility. Do I look like a miracle worker? With those dark rings around my eyes and tierdy short temper, I don’t think so!
I’m really lucky to have a good employer who allows me to work from home and has agreed on an arrangement of flexible hours – without this there is no chance that I would choose to work full-time. I know this is partly due to the nature of my job though, it’s the kind of thing that I can easily do from home without having an impact on my output. Never the less I know there are lots of companies out there that put up real barriers to mothers trying to work from home and flexibly – just for bad perception reasons. In my view they need to wake and a see the stats on how much more productive people who work from home are.
I found some research done by workingmums.co.uk that revealed that women don’t expect the earth from their employers when they have children, in fact 85% said flexible working was the most important requirement and that working mums were far more impressed by an employers willing to offer some home working on flexibility around emergency cover than extended maternity pay or support for childcare.
From my own perspective the fact that my employer is willing to do this for me, makes me more committed and focused in my work. I am also mildly paranoid about being seen to be slacking off by working from home and doing flexible hours. I am constantly feeling the need to prove myself and show results – but I guess that’s only a good thing. It’s also other people’s perceptions about me working from home, ie other people who are office based who just think I am going to watch day-time TV all day and sit around in the sun (when we have any). Like I’ve got the time? And it’s usually those people who ‘have a complex’, that everyone else is getting a better deal than then. They often fail to look at the bigger picture and are quick to draw judgements. Can you tell that this irritates me just a tiny bit…lol.
What’s your employer and fellow colleagues like?