A growing number of companies are seeing the value in hybrid work models. Whether stemming from cost reductions or increased productivity due to enhanced time management, the business and human case is definitely there. But how about the impact on full-time mothers who also pursuing full-time careers?
By any measure, the strength and perseverance of working mothers should be commended, daily. Juggling between both full-time roles is not an easy feat. As such, more flexible work schedules and hybrid working models are helping mothers manage their time between the office and home. As traditional office rules and regulations continue to be revisited post pandemic, the hybrid work model has garnered a lot of praise, especially amongst working mothers.
Advantages of hybrid work models
For parents, and specifically mothers who are predominantly still the primary caregivers across the region, the hybrid work model brings with it many advantages. Take for example the option to head home if a child falls sick or an unexpected event arises. Not commuting to work each day and evening also means less rushed mornings, with more time for pickups, drop offs and extracurricular activities.
Another positive shift, when both parents can benefit from the hybrid model option, is a more balanced distribution of tasks when it comes to household duties. And lastly, when office regulations are less strict, working mothers are better equipped to manage their time, without feeling any guilt, whether at home or in the office.
The advantages are evident, and allow for the best versions of working mothers to show up at the workplace and at home respectively. Yet, working mothers may be disadvantaged with hybrid working models, for numerous reasons.
So here are five ways companies and working mothers can make hybrid models work better for them
1. Setting transparent work policies
Given that hybrid and remote working are relatively new and still being tested, companies should have clear policies in place, in terms of outcomes and expectations. Topics such as how many days the team is required in the office, what can be done remotely and what needs to be done in-person, as well as which team members are required to be at the office at the same time, need to be clearly addressed. This would allow working mothers to better manage their time.
2. Mentoring and networking should be prioritized
Working remotely may translate into a loss of connections and networking opportunities. Working mothers may also not benefit from mentoring, as well as company education and development programs. With hybrid or remote working models, companies should ensure that working mothers have equal access to such opportunities, to not dampen their career growth prospects, just because they are managing a family.
3. Measuring and rewarding based on merit
Out of sight should not be out of mind, nor be used to assess the commitment of a working mother. Companies should have clear policies in place to measure and reward good work, based on merit and commitment. This is even more integral for working mothers that are not in the office at all times or interacting with other team members. Such systems would help ensure their efforts are encouraged and that they are recognized for their contributions.
4. Allocating tasks based on their nature
With every project at hand, managers and leaders need to assess the types of tasks involved, and identify which can be handled remotely, and when teams are needed in the office. This should be communicated, along with deadlines, before the start of any project. For example, tasks that require extended periods of solo work, can definitely be managed from home. However, when collaborations or exchanging of ideas is needed, then in-person meetings are best, to keep creativity flowing.
5. Continue communicating and often
When team members are working remotely, communication is important to ensure that workplace cultures remain intact. Managers should have periodical check-ins with their teams and especially with working mothers, to see if extra support is needed. Short surveys are also great to gather anonymous feedback, on how to continue improving internally. Work / life balance should be at the top of every company’s agenda, and working mothers, are an important part of the team.
To all working mothers, we salute your strength, commitment and hard work, both in the workplace and at home!