Our goal is to provide information, ideas and support for working women who are also full-time mothers.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Unique gifts for working moms

A great way to show that you and your kids are proud of all that you do. Treat yourself or put it on your wish list. There are several designs:

Alternative Work Schedules

I am so incredibly lucky that I have an employer that supports alternative work schedules. I work full time but two days a week I work from home. I am set up with a laptop, VPN access and a pager. My role at work is one of support but the internal customers I support are all over the country so they have no idea if I'm at home or my desk in the office.

I can not even express how wonderful it is to work from home these two days. When my son was an infant I would go visit him at his daycare during my lunch hour. I did sign an agreement with my employer that my toddler son will be in daycare while I'm working. These days during my lunch I usually go to the grocery store, drycleaners, get my oil changed, or run any other number of errands or I scrub bathrooms, or run the vacuum cleaner, mop the floor.....you name it.

I also love that I don't have to deal with traffic. My commute is pretty easy but commuting to the office downstairs is wonderful. I wear shorts or sweats, sloppy t-shirts, flip flops and skip the makeup.

The question I am most often asked is......can you really get work done at home. OH YES, even more than I can in the office. I am not distracted by everyone's phone ringing and people aren't stopping my desk to chat.

The best part is that I get to spend more time with my family. Instead of sitting in minivan commuting to work I am playing with my son!


Thank Goodness for AWS

I work one 1/2 day at home and compress my work week to leave early on Fridays. This has been so incredible and I'm so glad I took the risk and just asked. My new motto in life really is "the answer is always 'No' if you don't ask and you just maybe surprised with a 'Yes.'" I save on daycare, can spend more time with my kids and get more time to run errands. It was a lifesaver when I was pregnant because I did a lot of my appts on Friday afternoons. It really just takes asking and making sure to be diligent if you are working at home so that you can show proof of work so there is no question you can handle it. My work actually makes out better with me working at home 1/2 day because I have less interruptions, can better concentrate and can actually work longer because I don't have to rush off to pick up the kids because the preschool for my oldest is right around the corner. I use my lunch hour to drive home.

Here's a great resource I found from the Labor Project for Working Families and the AFL-CIO Working Women's Department:
Bargaining for Alternative Work Schedules

Alternative Work Schedules

I work for a company that has always valued employee "face time".
They are like a lot of companies who are just starting to open their eyes to the idea of tele-commuting, and are finally realizing that it can be done, without loss of productivity.
It took a long time to convince them that I could work from home a few days a week and still do as much work, as I did in the office. I had the benefit of working there for a few years, and had proven myself very capable in my position, which gave me the confidence to push the issue with management.
Working in a remote office the past two years has also helped the situation (before that, I was at our Headquarters). With technology the way it is today (high-speed internet access from home, and phone forwarding) most people I work with have no idea where I am when they are talking to me, nor do they care.
I support internal employees all over the globe. Therefore, often I get up before my kids and knock off some emails to Europe, before starting my day. Once the kids are up and off to daycare, then I can deal with East Coast business. Our west coast office doesn't really start buzzing until around Noon (I am on the east coast, obviously) so sometimes I can do a little straightening up around the house, or throw a load of laundry in, mid-morning.
Working at home 2-3 days a week has helped my sanity immensely. Daycare is a mere 5 blocks from my house. By not having the hour, round-trip commute, I have that much more time with my kids, or on those rare days, that extra hour to work!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Working from home

My work laptop died this week. :( So, now I'm not able to work from home. The company plans to replace it but it will take some time for it to be ordered. I really like the flexibility of working from home when my child is sick or I need to be home for another reason. I would love to be able to work from home on a more regular basis one day. That flexibility is a HUGE benefit as a working mom.