Published September 19, 2020, 12:50 PM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

Here’s how to work around working at home, from one mom boss to another

Parents are the busiest this back-to-school month. The art of balancing both work and family has gone a few levels up with the addition of making sure the children are having a smooth online distance learning set up at home. Add this to the daily grind of working from home, and well, there’s just too much pressure—something is going to give.

Chief operations officer of online tax filing platform Taxumo, Ginger Arboleda, shares the same sentiments. Being a mom to her six-year-old Zeeka, she knows the challenges of WFH (work-from-home) setup. She shares with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle her tips on how to make things a little bit better for her and her staff while assuring that productivity is still met. Afterall, teamwork is crucial in making sure that all the company’s efforts can bring in the income needed to keep things afloat. 

1.Be mindful and empathic. 
As a business owner, always manage with mindfulness. Know that your employees are people. They have feelings, emotions, and loved ones to support, etc. Empathize and see how you can support them during these challenging times. Understand that it may take a while for some people to cope and adjust to this new way of working, and make sure that they know that it’s fine. It’s also good to help them in any way so that the transition is easier and faster.

2. Family matters.
Half of our team are parents and being parents we understand each other and situations better. We know that priority is family so there may be times that work will have to adjust because of family matters. 

3. Results-oriented.
We always look at results rather than measure productivity by tracking time spent at work. Sharing the company’s objectives with them will help in aligning expectations and due dates. It’s usually our employees who suggest the dates and the actions steps. One of our values is integrity so when our people commit to doing something, everyone expects that they will deliver the committed tasks and on the committed date. 

4. Trust and empower.
We treat everyone in the team like adults and hardly dictate how things need to be resolved. If they fail to deliver on tasks, they usually tell us beforehand and have already given workarounds for it. We understand that things happen and family is priority, so we appreciate it when our employees give us a heads up if things won’t be completed on the committed date.

5. Make it fun.
Create work events, such as thematic weekly Zoom meetings, that indirectly involve their family. By dressing up every week, it has become a family event for some of our employees. The kids are all excited to help out. Our team members’ wives/husbands are excited to see what they will wear in the next call.