I groaned when I saw the headlines about Musk telling employees to return to full-time work and mock workplace flexibility. I thought it was just another corporate titan giving out-of-touch opinions, butnope. He told employees that if a person is exceptional, remote work might be ok.
Musk told executives that they needed to return to the office. Considering he has made billions on forward- thinking ideas, Musk’s stance on what makes a good employee is outdated. They are harmful to working parents and downright insulting.
The out of office message of a working mom went viral.
Parents have been running on all cylinders for the past two years. When there’s an outbreak in our kid’s classroom, we have managed our work responsibilities while shifting between remote and hybrid school. While being productive and engaged at work, we have been sleeping less. We have been burning the candle at both ends, with insufficient support and few safety nets.
Forced adjustments to the ways in which we work are one of the few silver linings of the Pandemic. Face time in the office is the way to climb the career ladder, and we let go of that outdated idea. It is possible to build a strong workplace culture not with happy hours and free lunches, but by showering employees with respect, trust, and compassion. We realized that doing whatever we can to help us be better humans, means more time with our families and less commute time. We realized that working smarter is better for everyone when we abandoned the idea of working longer hours. The entire community benefits when working parents are more engaged.
In-office work clothes, and overpriced lunches in the office cafeteria are things we saved money on thanks to the added bonus.
Some employers are clinging to obsolete, dysfunctional and, quite frankly, toxic attitudes about what it means to be a good and productive employee. And working moms are suffering as a result.
Employers were told that flexibility in the workplace is the key to a productive and engaged workforce. They’ve learned that they can expand their talent pool when they aren’t confined to a specific geographic location and that employees are happier and healthier when they have workplace flexibility. Some jobs don’t lend themselves to a hybrid work environment. If a job can be done remotely at least part of the time, many employers are realizing that it’s a way to build and maintain a quality team of workers who are likely to stick around.
Toxic attitudes about what it means to be a good and productive employee are clinging to some employers. Working moms suffer as a result.
27% of respondents who aren’t currently employed said that more flexible options would help them get back in the workforce and 30% said that resolving issues related to balancing a career and motherhood would decrease feelings of burnout. 42% of working moms said their employer could better support them as a parent with increased flexibility, such as remote work, job-sharing or schedule flexibility.
Natacha Postel-Vinay, an economic and financial historian at the London School of Economics, said that most of the evidence showed that productivity has increased while people stayed at home.
Two studies suggest increased productivity with remote work. The study followed 16,000 workers and found that their performance increased by more than 10%. A survey by The Remote Collaborative Worker, published by the Society for Human Resource Management, found that 77 percent of respondents reported increased productivity while working remotely.
I will never return to an office.
I have worked from home for over a decade and am more productive, happier, and more engaged than I was when I worked in an office. We’re all adults, but not everyone agrees with my work-from- home preference. Shouldn’t we know how to do our jobs best?
I can’t say that I’m surprised by the attitudes. My lack of surprise does not help me. It’s hard not to feel defeated when we are working hard every day and the rest of the world doesn’t seem to care.
I believe you do too.
Despite the fact that we toil away in a world that fails to adequately support us, despite the fact that we are disrespected and overlooked, we will continue to do what mothers have been doing since the beginning of time.
We will roll up our sleeves, hold our heads high and get the job done.
The State of Motherhood survey was designed and administered by Motherly through its subscribers list, social media and partner channels, resulting in a clean, unweighted base of more than 17,000 responses. The report focuses on the Gen X cohort of 1,197 respondents, as well as the Gen Z cohort of 246 respondents. The US Census data was weighted by Edge Research to reflect the racial and ethnic makeup of the female cohort.
essays about working from home