The great thing about Mums, well one of the great things, is their innate ability to get sh*t done. The old saying goes ‘if you need something done, ask a busy person’ – well I’d hesitate an educated guess, they don’t get much busier than a Mum. I know. Because I have a daughter. And because we have four other mothers working in our office. Four other amazing women who are brilliant professionals, fantastic parents and the sort of people you want working with you. Four Mums who have worked with us to ensure they have the flexibility to do their jobs, and do them exceptionally well, without ‘sacrificing’ being a parent. Four Mums whose contribution to our office extends beyond their professionalism, experience, and output and includes their warmth, determination and ‘get it done’ attitude.
The traditional concept of the nine-to-five has been fading away to irrelevance for quite some time now. We are starting to recognise that output and productivity are not directly linked to the hours you spend at your desk in a workplace, but to the energy you feel when undertaking a given task. This is great news for better workplaces, but also for the many talented women who are also mothers. With flexibility, honesty and open communication (and perhaps a new approach to day care) we can ensure Mothers are not lost to the workforce. This is especially important in the strata sector where good, experienced people are so few and far between.
A person who is able to fulfill their career aspirations while knowing they are supported in their role as a parent is an energized, grateful and productive member of staff. Whether that support be provided by changed school holiday hours, shorter working weeks, flexible working hours, job sharing and the utilisation of technology to assist (and not burden), the mutual benefits means that it’s well worth shifting our minds from traditional concepts of how we work to modernised ideas of how to get the job done.
Personally, I work a nine-day-fortnight and I take time off at least every school holidays. My workload didn’t change with my ‘in office’ hours, but my productivity sure did! The joy I had in my job was reignited as my ‘mother-guilt’ was diminished. I found a balance that works for me. As we have found for our other team members.
If you are a Mum, feeling overwhelmed, knowing it could work better for you with just a little more flexibility, open up the communication channels and have the conversation. Put together a plan, demonstrate how you can make it happen (because we know you can) and put it forward to whoever makes that decision in your workplace. As always, I’m here to help with this. Don’t hesitate to reach out.