Used to be, when I was first starting out in my career, that the term “flexibility” and the phrase “flex time” were rarely heard, at least at my place of employment. The higher up in the company you were, the more necessary it was for you to be in the office five days a week. Asking to work from home occasionally was met with uncomfortable silence, and a response that included “We’re just not there yet.”
Thankfully, times have changed. Flex time has become the norm for many places of business as methods of doing business become increasingly digital. “Working from home” no longer means being inaccessible to coworkers. In fact, at least in my case, my availability seems to increase when I work from home. Email is checked well before 9 a.m. (thanks to my 10-month old), and if deadlines loom, work continues after the kids’ bedtimes.
Flexibility has transitioned from a highly coveted perk to a run-of-the-mill arrangement with an employer.
This realization really hit me the other day while at the playground with my children. It was a Thursday afternoon, beautiful day. I was so happy to be able to spend my lunch hour doing such an activity. Two other moms there were also in the same boat – working from home for most of the week and thus able to schedule their days around both deadlines and sunny forecasts.
All three of us agreed that we didn’t know how we’d manage to have the careers we loved and the family time we craved without the flexibility that comes with working remotely.
I’m glad the corporate world has finally embraced the balancing-act skills mothers have been practicing for quite a while.