Agile working: baby not required

Pram

So i can’t really draw a pram…

Laura came to visit us at SeaSalt today. She bought her MacBook, her mobile phone, a notepad and pencil (retro) and her baby. He joined us for our meeting, sitting at the table, staring at me intently when i drifted off track, finishing his bottle and walking away with no actions. Well, crawling away actually. And the world didn’t end.

We’ve come a long way from working 9-5 in suits and ties.

In the Social Age, agile businesses need to be magnetic to talent, not drive it away. We need to be flexible to match the needs of people with the needs of businesses. After all, we all need each other.

Instead of restricting access to IT or making people feel like there’s a decision to be made between ‘family‘ and ‘career‘, maybe the decision should just be ‘which of these great places to work am i going to choose?‘, or ‘Which of these great people do we want to work with?‘ Whichever continent they work on. Baby or not.

It’s partly about mindset: do you think that you have to plead for a job, or can you be so magnetic in the market that people queue up to engage with you. As a freelancer, associate, colleague or mother, all in one.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Agile and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Agile working: baby not required

  1. Pingback: Reflections on the Social Age | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  2. Julian – this is a topic after my own heart, as a single parent finding a workplace that was flexible for my needs as a parent was a very important part of where I worked. It is great that technology has advanced to allow us to adapt our workplace to fit around our lives in a much more flexible way. But there is still a long way to go (http://www.hrgrapevine.com/markets/hr/article/2014-03-03-working-women-without-children-resentful-of-flexible-working-for-parents?utm_source=Sign-Up.to&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7962-313651-HRM+-+03%2F03%2F14#.Uxb1zIVWp5x )

    • julianstodd says:

      Very interesting (if somewhat surprising) article. Attitudes still vary widely. And we have significant infrastructure issues (cost of childcare and underlying assumptions that it’s a women’s world). My last business was very successful, but one of the things i’m most proud of is that three members of our team stuck with us the whole journey, taking time out for family and coming back again. Two more didn’t manage it though: realities of childcare and balancing two careers in a family were too much. And if i’m honest, the three that did were effectively stuck in more ‘admin’ type roles, below their capability. If men had children, we wouldn’t be having this conversation: we still marginalise women who take time out for raising a family.

      I guess i’m trying to paint a picture of change: where we will increasingly see organisations trying to tap into that flexible resource. And doing the right thing. I hope so.

      Thanks for sharing the article and being part of our community here Rebecca, best wishes, Julian

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