Finding the right work-life balance is no easy task especially when you are a full time working mum. Having returned to full time employment over 18 months ago after having two children in close succession I was faced with the moral and financial dilemma that thousands of women face every year; should I request different hours, can I afford to work less, how am I going to balance everything and why should my career take a sideways step whilst I try and strike a balance that will work for me and my family?
Obviously working for a company that enables people to work from anywhere makes a difference as they provide me with the technology to be able to achieve this with ease but when I tell people that I returned to work full time when the children were 1 and 3 I pretty much always hear the same type of statement: ‘I don’t know how you do it’….
Like many working mum’s you have to quickly realise that you can’t do it all and that some things will just have to wait. The biggest contributing factor in my returning to work full-time was that being video enabled meant that I knew I had the flexibility to make it work as best as I could for myself, my family and the company. It is not unusual for me to join a video meeting from the train using the Polycom RealPresence Mobile so I am back in time to collect the children. When I work from home I use my RealPresence Desktop solution to ensure I am just as visible and accessible as when I am in the office. Knowing that I had access to the tools to make things like this possible meant that when deciding on my return to work options I reached the decision about coming back full-time quite easily as I genuinely thought ’why not?’.
And I think this doesn’t only ring true for working mums as more and more people now want to have the flexibility of being able to work from anywhere. Today the working day isn’t necessarily about being in the office from 9am – 5pm five days a week but it is more about an approach that highlights that the workplace of the future shouldn’t
actually be a place. The approach should be based more on the changing nature of today’s workforce and how they want to work and the tools they want to have access to so they are able to achieve this.
I was recently lucky enough to work on a project with Sir Cary Cooper a Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Manchester Business School where he offered insights into the changing nature of the worker and how organisational efficiencies and improvements in productivity can be achieved when supporting these changes. We captured some really interesting footage of him discussing the worker of the future and by watching this two minute video you’ll get a real feel for the immediate impact this is having on our everyday working lives.
People always talk about work-life balance and how to achieve it, however my thoughts are that today modern mums need to look at it as more of a ‘work-life blend’ and that by using the technology and tools that are available to you will mean you have a better shot at making it work for you, your employer and ultimately your family.