Future of Work – A working mothers perspective

My first lesson from this pandemic is “Expect the unexpected” and this rings true in all elements of life since March 2020, especially within the working environment.

I schedule a zoom interview for 11am. “Perfect time, I will be able to dedicate at least 15-20 mins to interview a potential candidate, 11am is always a good time” I tell myself as I send the meeting invite.   One child will be wrapped up in an English lesson discovering the hardships of life during world war II, whilst my 1-year-old will be taking her mid-morning snooze, a familiar routine we have found ourselves in during the drawn-out days of lockdown 3.0.  If only this was reality.   10.55am strikes and the English teacher has sent the children off around the house on a scavenger hunt for ww2 ration items and the sudden disruption has excited the almost snoozing toddler to join in the race around the house.   Do I cancel, or do I show the complete transparency of the situation and attempt to conduct a semi-professional interview whilst a small third person pops their head into shoot to ask if the lady is called Peppa?

I’m sure most can relate to a similar scenario over the past 12 months.  

I opt for the latter and within the eventful 15 min interview I know this candidate is the right fit for our company and the team, with her key attributes during this initial meet aligning with my Future of Work principles– empathy, acceptance and determination

Why do I believe Empathy, Acceptance and Determination are key attitudes for the Future of Work?

Acceptance

Acceptance plays a vital role for me in the future of work.  Acceptance that situations beyond our control arise but it’s how myself and my peers deal with these situations successfully which is important.

Empathy

If you have empathy, you have understanding, and these qualities go a long way in developing transparent relationships and strong connections.  In a world where the unexpected can happen, empathy to situations and environments are key.

Determination

The last 12 months have driven me to have a strong sense of determination to prove the “Norm” wrong.   Determination that this work life balance can be achieved, determination that I will survive another lockdown and determination that I will not let anyone down.  My employer is still happy with my contribution, my children are watered, fed and relativity well groomed and my home is still in one piece.  Determination has got me through the past 12 months and will continue to play a vital role in my day-to-day survival as well as achieving my personal and career goals.

Other key aspects I believe will contribute to the Future of Work success.

Work-life balance.

As a working mother there has always been an element of work-life balance, however the pandemic has pushed this phrase to the extreme for myself and I’m sure other working parents and careers; for the first time we have been expected to correctly balance juggling a career, stepping up to become a teacher, childcare, as well as the day to day running of a household. 

Flexibility

Last week Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google & Alphabet made an announcement in support of launching a hybrid workplace, a great move by Google in my opinion and totally supports the need for a work life balance. 

Googles announcement sets out the opportunities and flexibility of spending three days in the office and two days remotely, as well as opening new office locations globally with the opportunity for their workforce to switch locations either permanently or temporarily for up to four weeks a year.     Google have clearly been listening to their workforce, acknowledged their desires over the past 12 months and have responded fantastically.

Sundar has quoted “The Future of Work is flexibility” .  It would be great to see more companies adopt flexible working post pandemic as this would certainly make juggling all the aspects of life much easier for working mothers like myself, as well as fathers and career. 

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