Spending less money at the pump, reducing pollution, less time in traffic – it’s easy to talk about these telework benefits because we can easily quantify the savings. However, one of the biggest benefits of telework is a bit harder to measure – work-life balance.
Coming off the heels of National Work and Family Month, this seems to be the ideal time to address how telework can help us achieve that perfect balance we all strive for.
Recently, two women have been in the news for this very issue. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer caused controversy when she announced she would only be taking a couple of weeks of maternity leave after giving birth to her son. Former State Department official Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter also stirred the pot when she wrote an article about the challenges working mothers face entitled Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.
Just coming off maternity leave for the second time myself, I see the value that telework has in the workplace. I’ve found that by teleworking full-time, I can better manage the demands of a career with those of a family. And it’s not just me – during Telework Week 2012, 79 percent of participants reportedan increased work-life balance as one of the top benefits realized while teleworking.
Not only does telework help you juggle the demands of your life, it also adds to your job satisfaction and morale. In the Office of Personnel Management’s 2011 Employee Viewpoint Survey, Federal agencies that focused on providing a work-life balance for its workforce received the highest scores.
From a leader’s standpoint, the focus should be on talking to your employees about balance. Are they able to manage the demands of work while also spending time with their families? Is improved morale and job satisfaction leading to higher-quality work? This communication between employees and managers is key when measuring work-life balance – and telework success.
Why fight having the best of both worlds – a successful career and a happy family/personal life? For those of you who are still on the fence, join me for Telework Week 2013, coming in March 4-8, 2013. The third-annual initiative is the perfect time to try teleworking – and discover its many benefits. For more information, visit www.teleworkexchange.com/teleworkweek/save-the-date.
Here’s to life, liberty, and the pursuit of work-life balance.
Cindy Auten is a teleworker and super mom. She is the general manager at Telework Exchange. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org