If there’s one thing we’ve all learned during these past 18 months, it’s that we’re capable of being a lot more flexible than we probably ever thought we could be. Because, well, we’ve had to be. Primarily when it comes to work.
We’ve all learned the importance of being a little more understanding, and one manager is hitting the nail on the head about being flexible at work in a LinkedIn post that has gone viral. And it’s resonating with working moms, big time.
Raise your hand if you’re a woman and you’ve found yourself apologizing to your colleagues and supervisors about having to duck out of work or call off because your kids are sick. How about going into immense detail to “justify” why you need to take time off for your family? Yep, I see you’ve all got your hands raised!
Though employees, women in particular, have basically been conditioned to do these things, this LinkedIn post basically gives us the validation that it’s OK to not be a machine—because life happens.
Megan Witherspoon, the Vice President of Communications at Altria, wrote about flexible working hours from a manager’s perspective and it quickly went viral. Why? Well, it’s a must-read. So go ahead and dive in.
“I DO care that your daughter is home with yet another ear infection,” she writes. “I DO NOT care that you’ll be offline for 2 hours this afternoon for her doctor’s appointment.”
Since we’re all in for an anxiety-ridden school year when it comes to sicknesses—even the common cold ignites panic in most of us now—this line is especially validating to read.
“I DO care that a bus driver shortage means you don’t have reliable transportation for your son,” she continues. “I DO NOT care if you need to get back to me in an hour after picking him up from school.”
Witherspoon also talks about the importance of taking vacation time and prioritizing your mental health, because a healthy employee is a happy employee. And happy employees stick around—because they want to.
She concludes her post by reinforcing the idea that, as a boss, she cares about the things that are happening in the lives of her employees. And that as long as your work is done and done well, it shouldn’t matter how or when you do it. Especially now, amid an ongoing pandemic that impacts our lives in ways both big and small every single day.
Life happens. Flexibility is a valuable currency—at home and at work.