We recently celebrated another “send-off” in the office for a mum-to-be – in fact, the second one since October! In my first post here, I’d like to share how the use of video helped me to make the transition from being a new mum to becoming a successful working mum.
As we waved my colleague off it felt like only yesterday when I left to have my son. In the weeks and days leading up to “D-day”, I felt like all mothers-to-be – the frantic need to get work cleared, prep for the delivery day, and most of all anticipate the arrival of a new addition to my life that might just turn it upside down. But new age women are lucky these days. Firstly, we live with mobile technology. Everybody can stay connected. It really helps to overcome that initial fear of being alone (alone in the world of new mums) as we can easily reach somebody familiar to talk to. As one can imagine, just about everything was new for me to absorb – the baby, the processes and the suggestions from just about everyone!
A big plus for a new mother working at Polycom is the familiarity of using video, as it is embedded as an integral part of the company’s working culture – something that is starting to become more and more popular in many companies. In the months following the birth, the connection back to the non-baby world (also known as the office) was highly enhanced when I had video! I could simply dial any of my colleagues at work just to say “Hi”, “How are things at work?” or “What’s the latest?” Seeing them live on-screen helped me to adjust back to the mind-set of the workplace.
Now, with a young toddler on my hands and successfully back at work, video does wonders to the “work soul” of my life and keeps me sane. Many mothers identify with me on that. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard other mums tell me how they wished they enjoyed similar video tools and the flexi-work culture I have here at Polycom. Video allows me to work from home if and when I need to, which with a young child, is a huge help. But there is no risk of missing an important meeting in the office, because I will join on video along with colleagues who will do the same in one or more other locations.
So, yes, I now feel like a supermum that can conquer the world of work and home life. But really, that underlying trust that the company places on me is pivotal in allowing me to focus on what I do without unproductive worries of being to work on time, or having to take extra leave just for a baby jab, for example.
As Polycom was one of the winners of the hunt for the “Best Companies for Working Mums” here in Singapore, I’ve been interviewed as a representative of the company and have also been asked to contribute to the “New Ways of Work” guidebook by the IDA, a Singapore Government department. You can find more details on that guidebook here: About New Ways of Work.
It’s evident to me that video-collaboration as an embedded part of an organisation’s work process is not only growing in priority but it has the power to reshape the work-life balance for mums and dads alike.