Working from home used to be a luxury — but it has become necessary.
We’ve seen the video of the dad doing a live TV interview while his toddler struts in the room and his wife comes in to quickly grab the child, and the interview continues.
If you have been working at home over the past few months, chances are your children have made an appearance on a Zoom meeting or conference call.
While we don’t appreciate distractions in the professional world, even before many people worked at home, it happened. Someone spilled their coffee on the conference table. Someone had an emergency call — or had to handle a delivery — that took them out of a meeting.
But in recent months, the distractions were different. Like your child asking for a snack.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering businesses, many of us parents are learning to adapt and work remotely. And, as it turns out, it IS pretty possible! The kids weren’t going anywhere because schools were shut down…and day cares and babysitters weren’t a thing (because social distancing).
But now a Florida university is declaring that employees who work remotely won’t be able to do so while caring for a child.
That’s unfortunate and represents what we see as outdated thinking on what it means to integrate your work and life (with kids).
We need to work together to find solutions that work for businesses AND employees. We need to have more faith in our employees that they don’t need to be micromanaged every second of their day to ensure they’re doing their work.
For some businesses and jobs, it’s clear that working from home isn’t the best way to accomplish goals. And that’s OK!
But for some, working remotely can benefit everyone. Even before the pandemic, many people were rocking the work at home lifestyle.
You may be surprised at how much more time is “wasted” by employees in an office setting. Constant socializing at desks or by the coffee machine, online shopping, meetings that are longer than they need to be while everyone grabs a bagel and exchanges pleasantries and asks a million questions.
I have personally seen both sides. I used to work in an office, but since 2011 I have worked remotely — with a child — for Hay There Social Media. It’s made me excel at time management. Organizing duties. Prioritizing. Getting done what needs to be done. Living and working intentionally.
Maybe businesses are worried about employees working remotely with kids at home and milking the clock. Perhaps going to a task- or project-oriented pay scale would be more beneficial than an hourly rate, so no one has to worry about that.
Maybe employees with kids who work from home aren’t finishing their tasks. Perhaps that position — or working-from-home job — isn’t the best fit.
It can be tracked and evaluated, for sure. If someone isn’t pulling their weight in the office, chances are they won’t do it at home either.
But in our experience, it is possible to take each situation on a case-by-case basis. And we can make it easier for many parents to work from home by providing support, confidence, tools and flexibility.
I’ve found that the more a company is vested in the employee, the more the employee is vested in the company. Funny how that works.
Parents can parent AND work — if you believe in us and give us the opportunity to do so. Let us try.