by Debbie Ruston, Featured Contributor
I RECENTLY SAW a discussion about hiring a nursing mom. Although it has been a while, I can speak from this spot, having been very effective building my own business with two small babies.
This was close to 30 years ago, and as a new mom, I also had my first business. Being a perfectionist then (thankfully reformed perfectionist now:) it was important for me to do everything perfectly. Being a good wife, mother, housekeeper, all at the same time as running my business. It took being organized to the T, and that is really what got me through it. Everything was slotted in my daytimer….everything. Business, personal, and home responsibilities were all time slotted in. It really allowed me to make sure I wasn’t getting out of balance in any particular area. I didn’t miss a beat on anything. I was with the children during the day, was back working within 2 weeks, I nursed them for 6 months, kept a clean home, had date night with my husband every week, and built a successful business. The key was being organized, and this was before we had all the wonderful technology options we have available today.
Today with all these technology options, it makes it very easy for many jobs to be done from home. Unfortunately, many companies are stuck in the past way of doing things and want chairs filled, for no other reason than “it’s the way they have always done things”. If a person is the best person for the job, and the work can be done from home, you could consider a work from home option to get around a temporary issue such as a nursing mom. This will make the employee feel valued, and this builds engagement. This is also a great option as current workers go on maternity leave. Instead of having to hire temp staff, making this arrangement for the current employee, can build loyalty and higher engagement. Very often people that work from home, actually put more time in than in the office, working around their families. In other situations, considering a work from home option, is a benefit that many young families today are seeking.
Particularly any type of office work. Today with options like skype, screen sharing, conference calling, texting, cell phones, etc., most things can be done just as effectively at home. Something else to consider is that employees tend to work, even if they are sick, when they have a work at home option, and also tend to put in more effective time than if they are dealing with all the interruptions in an office. Basing the work on results, rather than buts in chairs and time clocked in, is very often a more effective work result.
This is obviously not doable in a service related field, however, for office type work that can benefit from this flexibility it offers a great option for both employers and employees. Employers can save on space required, and employees appreciate the flexible arrangement and are often more engaged and committed as a result.
Has your workplace embraced this option of working from home, and do you recognize how technology can replace the need for face to face work?