That sound you can hear is parents holding their breath.
‘It would just make a real difference to me,’ they said, ‘If I could do a day from home’. A day without the rush to the train. A day to talk to their kids’ carers at drop-off, rather than throwing the baby through the door and sprinting for the bus. A day to make some work calls while folding washing so that the entire weekend isn’t spent trying to burrow out from under a mountain of odd socks. A day when they can eyeball the teacher/not get charged by the minute for late pick-up/concentrate on that project without Andy from marketing asking them how to work the capsule coffee machine. Again.
They asked. They got told no.
‘It’s an office-based job, Karen,’ they heard. ‘We support flexible working. But only from your office desk, between the hours of nine to five.’
Watch: Carrie Bickmore on returning to work after having her daughter Evie. Post continues below.
That sound you can hear is parents holding their breath because they’re thinking… When all ‘this’ is over, will we think differently about work from home?
Is this the turning point for flexible work that women have been waiting for?
Because let’s face it, if we can keep things vaguely moving in the right direction while working from our bedrooms and kitchen tables with kids always there, a partner present and no permitted external distractions or help from extended family members, then surely every second Friday when the kids are back at school will be easy. Right?
The mere fact we office workers know how to behave in a video call (wear pants, don’t just stare at yourself in the top right hand corner), has to change some of the perception that “working from home” is a euphemism for a day off, yes?
“My boss has always argued we can’t be as productive from home,” says Lisa, who works in Marketing (but not with Andy), “And I’ve always wanted to prove to him that I can be. I guess I got that chance, and when this is over, I’m going to ask again.”
“I can do more work not having to dash off to collect my daughter,” says Amelia. “Her preschool is near my house and without the commute, I can work right up to pick-up, rather than having to leave an hour before.”