Two years ago I remember sitting in a conference room at SAP in Newtown Square, coming to the end of a long day of workshops. Some of us were locals, but most people had traveled from all over the world, so at the end of an intense day of sessions, the usual small talk started. Best local places to eat, where are you staying, hometowns, and eventually, family.
I can still remember the looks around the table when I revealed my little secret.
I am a mother. A mother of four young children. A mother of four children with a fulltime job. Who’s doing a great job and having fun while I do it. I’m not saying it’s easy, or that it’s for everyone, but it is possible. A big part of what makes it possible for me is the work from home flexibility SAP offers.
Work from home flexibility is a win for me and for SAP. It gives SAP a huge competitive advantage in attracting and retaining mothers with young children. And why wouldn’t it want to, moms are some of the most efficient and productive members of the work force. I’ve done two loads of laundry, packed four lunches, tended to two dogs, gotten four children on the bus with smiles on their faces before most people are at their desks. After they’ve gone to school, the memory of their smiles as I waved to them as the bus pulled away lets me shed the guilt I used to contend with. The guilt that would linger and distract me from my work when I was out the door before they were even up, so I could be at my cubby on time.
When I’m working, I have a laser focus on the work at hand. There’s no time to be wasted because every minute squandered is paid for by my children. I know how to prioritize my tasks, plan and run effective meetings, work in the flow and cut through the complexity so I can deliver high quality work that helps SAP meet its objectives. Work from home flexibility means I can take a break when needed, so I can tend to the little things that mean a lot to my little ones. Like hugging them when they get off the bus and making sure the new sitter is doing a good job.
With teams travelling and collaborating with colleagues from all over the world, virtual meetings with SAP Connect & Skype for Business (Lync) meetings are a given, portrayed in the illustration above. So working from home does mean I need to be on mute sometimes, but I know I’m not the only one.
I would love to hear from the rest of the community. In our world of virtual collaboration and work from home flexibility, what are your favorite mutable moments? Please share below!