For many years I have juggled with the challenges of work and home life.
Being a mother is my priority; however, this has never stopped me from pursuing my career and drive to succeed. I have now worked in the education sector for 13 years and I am lucky enough to be with an organisation that understand my needs along with encouraging my aspirations.
My role is based largely on remote working and this makes it easy to manage my workload and home life. I am, however, required to travel on occasions and this can sometimes lead to problems concerning childcare arrangements, particularly when overnight stays are required. In these circumstances, an organisation can easily show the right sensibility in accommodating this in most cases, enabling other mediums of communication to be used.
My employer is constantly advancing with the use of technologies and they are able to offer their employees various other methods to be able to operate and function effectively, such as Skype for Business, Office 365 etc. These options for communication not only benefit me and other colleagues with family commitments, but technology can also help employers to manage costs of travel and accommodation.
In my opinion this constitutes a WIN-WIN situation. Working for a forward thinking institution often translates in increased commitment and motivation from its employees. Those companies who choose not to consider their employees’ personal needs tend to fall somewhat short in many ways, particularly loyalty. Family commitments should not be seen as a barrier to contributing within society, both professionally and economically.
Nowadays, most people are proud of working for organisations that take steps to ensure a mixed representative workforce, and that equal opportunities are given to all. I am also an advocate of parents returning to work and being given the chance to demonstrate the skills that they have.
Emerging technologies are enabling better access to the working environment and this can only progress more positively in the future. Where this is paired with a deeper consideration for employers’ needs, alongside their responsibilities, we will have a working reality in which people are truly inspired to contribute to the best of their abilities.
About the author
Alison Watson is Programme Leader for BA Business at Arden University.
She’s an expert in marketing, human resource management, international business and student recruitment. She has been an operations and project manager in the retail sector for 14 years, and completed an MBA via distance learning whilst working full time to become a lecturer. Alongside working for a number of higher education institutions, she runs a business specialising in bespoke learning and training packages.