Lisa Endlich Heffernan, of the Huffington Post, was recently featured on the Today Show, speaking to how she had many regrets in her life as a working mother and staying home after her third child was born. She felt that she let down all of the women who had come before her to make it possible to attain that “High Powered Career”.
“When you leave the fulltime workplace and become a stay-at-home mom, you begin to live in a world of women your own age with kids the same age as your kids and your experiences really narrow as the range of people you deal with narrows.” – Lisa Endlich Heffernan
There is a fine line parents walk when going back to work after having a child. Many feel guilty for relying on others to watch their child while they pursue their own dreams of a career. However, sacrificing a career to stay at home can leave a void that eventually turns into regret.
Thankfully, new developments in technology are eliminating that choice by allowing parents to work remotely in an effective manner. Unified communications (UC) solutions can simulate the traditional office environment for most remote employees. Video conferencing provides face-to-face interaction allowing remote employees to develop relationships with their peers. Quick questions or generic small talk can be conducted through Instant Messaging. Not to mention presence information provides the same available or away status as walking past a colleague’s office.
Even better, enhanced interoperability with mobile devices allow parents to join important collaboration session from their iPad while sitting in the parking lot at their child’s swimming lessons. Now, parents can fulfill their intellectual desires by pursuing their career while having the flexibility to run up to school and drop of their child’s forgotten lunch or walk their child home from the bus stop.
The best part about enabling parents to work remotely is the increased talent pool for organizations. Parents who would have given up their career, like Lisa Endlich Heffernan, can contribute valuable insight to organizations without sacrificing the desire to be at home for their children.
Sara Sutton Fell, CEO & Founder of Flexjobs.com, even wrote an article about 15 surprising jobs parents can do from home; specifically mentioning CEO or Executive Director. However, the actual number of jobs that can be performed remotely far exceed this number when organizations implement UC and other video solutions.