Submitted by "Human Rights Mama"
Remember the video of the man who was being interviewed by the BBC live when his toddler walked into the room? That is probably every work-from-home parent's nightmare, and I was thinking about it recently when I was asked to create a "welcome video" to introduce myself as a tutor for an online course on refugee protection.
Online learning and virtual workplaces are magical inventions for working parents with small children. No one needs to know that you are in your pajamas, or haven’t showered for a couple of days, as long as your brain is clear and your fingers type swiftly. Unless, of course, you need to be on video.
As the mother of a 10-week-old, I don't currently go into an office during the day, and I don’t have the luxury of time. While my baby isn’t mobile, her little voice travels in my small apartment, so I'm pretty proud of the fact that I was able to create and post a video recently. And it was done on time, and I looked (at least theoretically) polished. The technique? I put on some makeup very early in the morning. Later that day, I put the baby down for a nap, pulled a blazer on over a nursing shirt, clipped my hair back, found a good backdrop (a bookshelf), and filmed the whole thing before she even woke up.
As Leonard Bernstein once said, "To achieve success, two things are needed; a plan and not enough time." I concur.
Submitted by Lisa Giles - "... let your family know they are your top priority. Also let them know that your work will be your primary focus during the day until they become your primary focus during in the evening."
Almost 20 years ago, while supporting a family member recovering from a health issue in Omaha, Nebraska, my innovative manager arranged for me to telecommute to my job in New York City. Since then, I've been successfully telecommuting on-and-off for different companies while advancing my career and achieving personal milestones along the way.
During this time, I've navigated career goals, and my husband and I have also welcomed two daughters, who are now 14 and 17. Telecommuting has enabled me to bridge my mother and employee roles, although I have needed to make some adjustments along the way.
At one point I feared that I was focusing too much energy on my career. While I was “home” a lot, I didn't always feel like I was focused on my family quite enough. This fear was confirmed when my then 7-year-old made me a Mother’s Day card that showed a picture of the back of my head, as I sat at my desk facing a computer monitor. The caption read: “Company worker”. That's when I knew I wanted to make some changes.
My dad spent 10-15 years working from home. Since he didn't have to commute to an office (an hour each way), he saved a lot of time. He was able to do everything his job required from home, so this was a win-win arrangement for him and the company that employed him.