The majority of working mothers struggle to align well motherhood and work, and it is a daily frustration to get everywhere on time and respond to the last-minute tasks and needs of children. There is the morning preparation when time seems to bend and you feel like you are not progressing but going backwards in time as you are chasing your kids to get dressed and finish their breakfasts and quickly try to find the drums of your son as you just realized he needs to take an instrument that day to school. And you start worrying already as you see his running nose: you have no clue how to deal with another sick kid, how will you work then? After the morning drop-off, you slowly get through the traffic and arrive at the office for the morning meeting to set up the goals for the day or week, and you are the one who is late, again.
I still lived in Hungary, about 15 years ago when my ex-company, HP introduced home office once a week, and I couldn't welcome it more. It felt like a reward that boosted employee loyalty, a gift that you could spare your daily commute and in the meantime, you could furtively deal with the laundry and cooking, so it was absolutely a win-win.
Now, after COVID home office is not a reward any more, but rather part of the package and a benefit that lot of employees demand. Looking at it from the other side, there are more and more employers in IT who limit or eliminate entirely office days to spare space and costs, because COVID proved to us all that it is working.
But what is the best for working mothers? I really think that the best an employer could offer them is the flexibility to stay at home and go to the office occasionally, depending on their own needs, and the reason is what I mentioned before, that it is a huge stress factor in a working mother's life to align work and motherhood. When they are constantly losing the battle to manage well professional and personal life, it results in a loss of motivation, energy and mental health issues. And corporate companies actually have the power and tools to remove this stress and support their employees by giving this flexibility, so I wonder when we get there to actually have it in place as a basic benefit.
Just imagine a morning when you prepare the kids and your husband takes them to school, so you can get for yourself 30 minutes before work to do a quick yoga, drink your coffee while it is hot (!), mentally prepare for your day and start work focused and energized. And when your kids are sick, you have the option to work while taking care of them without using your paid holidays. If mental well-being is a real priority of employers, flexibility for the home office seems to be a no-brainer, doesn't it? What do you think about that?