Is Remote Working A Challenge For Women?

Is work-life balance turning out to be an uphill task for women since the onset of the pandemic? Do women prefer working from home 24/7?  Does a career woman find herself torn between maintaining the balance between the two? Let’s try and find out all these answers by looking at some of the challenges working women face in a remote environment.

The Major Challenges Faced by Working Women 

Let’s take a look at some of the major challenges a working woman faces as she tries to balance both her work and family responsibilities!

Defining Boundaries

Women may find it hard to define boundaries while working from home due to the constant pressure of trying to do their best in both worlds. With the economy becoming a remote-based one, the stakes of divided attention are higher than ever as far as female employees are concerned.

While earlier they could do their household chores and then leave for official duties, the scene has changed with working women having to focus on meeting official requirements also together with household chores.

Increased  Multitasking

While some say that women are experts at multitasking, the real question is how effective is this? Multi-tasking is something women, especially working moms do out of necessity, not because they are experts. Due to the pressure of remote working, women tend to switch quickly between tasks as a means of coping or completing all required tasks. This may lead to low productivity and if left unattended, may also result in failure to achieve the set targets.

Career Growth and Recognition

With greater flexibility in getting things done at home, working moms tend to take a back step for the family. They feel compelled to give up on their plans to advance into senior roles for the convenience of family members. Their attention is divided and the drive to stay connected to the corporate world and happenings, may suffer dilution. As a result, their corporate circles grow smaller, keeping them out of major discussions and promotions. 

Being seen or being present at the office becomes less easy while women opt for staying behind. They become the unseen employees who are branded more as family caregivers than office tycoons. This creates unwanted bias and gender discrimination.

A woman’s career graph can be affected when she fails to get the deserved recognition. The employees who work physically in the office get considered more for such rewards women who opt to stay at home do not get as much recognition.

Extension Of Working Hours

While at the office, there is a schedule that gives a specific time to log in and log out, remote working requires employees to be present at all times.  So working hours extend and this leaves very little space for recreational activities. Working women are more likely to fall into depression considering the extra hours they put in at home after office requirements. Without a proper support system, remote working which is meant to give working moms control over their time leaves them in a compromised state.

Work-life Conflict

There is a high risk of exhaustion as working moms struggle to juggle their work along with household chores. Attending a zoom meeting while managing the family needs keeps them less focused. Likewise, attending to the family while work calls are due to begin also tends to throw them out of balance. As a result, female employees may find it tough to give their hundred per cent in either scenario. They may feel unappreciated at home as well as in the workplace, even when they are performing well.

Feelings Of Isolation

Women are likely to suffer emotional burnouts from being exhausted all the time. They spend their days rushing from chores to office assignments, leaving them feeling drained.  The toll of being present in two places at the same time is likely to affect their emotional well-being. Many women state they could be happier when they have some me-time. 

Feelings of isolation may arise as they no longer commute for official duties in the corporate settings. The absence of brainstorming sessions, group discussions and even occasional coffee breaks with teammates are factors that working moms enjoyed in a physical office environment. They try to spend time on entertainment at home to overcome such difficulties

Hear It From The Experts

In an interview given at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive director of U.N. Women rightly said.- “There is a danger there that women are the ones who are likely to opt to work from home, and offices may just end up being the places where men go to,” said 

She truly speaks for all working women when she says: – “We worked so hard to say a woman’s place is not in the kitchen. We don’t want corona to say a woman’s place is in the home, that she’s sitting in the kitchen with her laptop, and the man’s place is in the office,” she said in a recent interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Recently a women’s rights forum LeanIn.Org in collaboration with McKinsey & Company had conducted a survey that gave alarming evidence that during the pandemic, women have had to be three times more responsible than their male counterparts when it came to dealing with childcare and housework.

Estimates suggest that 70% of the female population are mainly responsible for all the duties at home, while childcare rests primarily on the shoulders of 66% of them. As per a report from ILO (International Labour Organization), women perform over 75% of unpaid domestic activities at home. Experts also say that women, especially working moms carry the major bulk of responsibilities at home.

Taking into consideration these facts, it is not surprising that women are facing concerns about maintaining a healthy work-life balance in this era of remote working.

The words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres deserve applause-“Gender equality and women’s rights are essential to getting through this pandemic together, to recovering faster, and to building a better future for everyone.” -he states.

Summary

Every organisation should take measures for gender inclusivity. There should be a fair evaluation of the employees working from home, regardless of gender. The basics of performance evaluation should be revised and the results /outcomes of quality work have to be focussed upon.

A routine or schedule to stick to, exclusive office space and measures to prioritise the task at hand will enhance productivity. Taking steps to ensure mental well-being is equally important. With a conscious mind to maintain boundaries, women will be more at ease when they take support from all available resources. A rested mind is the main key to creating a positive work-life balance.

Choosing To Move Forward

The Choice Is Yours

Life offers you choices all the time. You can choose how to take your next step. There is always a choice! Bringing to you today: My Poem From An Anthology- “The Slice Of Life”

Choosing To Move Forward

Today as the sun rises, a new day is born

Its time to be an inspiration

Its time to make the transition

Its time to learn to stand on your own

Step by step,  grasping onto the last ray of hope,

You choose to move forward

Hitting rock-bottom, dare yourself to fight

Keeping your thoughts positive

Remembering the happy times

Counting your blessings

Step by step,  praying with all your might,

You choose to move forward

Focussing on your goals,

Manifesting your dreams

Knowing you will achieve them

Wearing your sweetest smile

Step by step,  pushing yourself to win, 

You choose to move forward

Reminding yourself who you are

Making your own choices

Unlocking your full potential

Gradually with a firm resolve

Step by step,  savouring what comes ahead,

You choose to move forward

Asking if you have tried hard enough

Remembering only what enlightens your spirit

Grabbing all the strength within

Slowly and steadily

Step by step,  leaving behind the storm,

You choose to move forward

Hardships are short seasoned,

Victory outshines failure

So believe in your power

Zero in on your destination

And remind  yourself one more time

You choose to move forward.

Calmness Quotes To Ease Your Days

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together.” —Thomas Carlyle

“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.” —Ralph H. Blum

You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” —Pema Chodron

Yesterday is ashes, tomorrow wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly.” —Old Eskimo Proverb

“There can be no peace without but through peace within.” —W.E. Channing

Video Courtesy: Yellow Brick Cinema – Relaxing Music
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwobzUc3z-0PrFpoRxNszXQ

Within you, there is a stillness and sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” —Hermann Hesse

“Don’t try to force anything. Let life be a deep let-go. God opens millions of flowers every day without forcing their buds.” —Osho

“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.” —Brian Tracey

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” —Oprah Winfrey

She let go to find her joy

From my co-authored book-RELINQUISH…..

She told herself

To never give up again.

To believe in her values

To trust herself

She made up her mind

To keep her word

To no longer forget

What really mattered

She let go of the pain

Bid adieu to agony

She taught herself

To let go of memories

No longer did she

Forget who she really was

No longer did she

Forget how much she mattered.

Fluttering away in her dreams

She manifested her life

Untouched by doubt

Undaunted by reality

To the doors closed behind her

She smiled and said

So be it, leave them closed

Out there is a whole new world.

Motivation For You

Struggling to stay motivated? You are not alone. All of us need a little push to get through some days. Sharing with you some of my favourite quotes that get me through my Not-So-Great days!

  1. “The clock is ticking. Are you becoming the person you want to be?” – Greg Plitt
  2. ¨Most people fail, not because of lack of desire, but, because of lack of commitment. ¨ – Vince Lombardi
  3. ¨Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen. ¨ – Michael Jordan
  4. “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” —Jerry Rice
  5. ¨Look in the mirror. That’s your competition. ¨ – John Assaraf
  6. Put all excuses aside and remember this: You are capable. ¨ – Zig Ziglar
  7. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” —Tommy Lasorda
  8. If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. ¨ — Hippocrates
  9. “A champion is someone who gets up when they can’t.”- Jack Dempsey
  10. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” —Aristotle

Give Yourself A Moment

Give yourself a moment

You deserve a break

Come, sit by your side

Basking in self-love.

Go deep within

Listen to the silence

Come, sit for a while

Spending time alone

Find joy in today

Take time for yourself

Come, sit and observe

Enjoying the moment.

Throw away insecurities

They’re part of life

Come, sit, just to breathe

Abandoning your fears.

You’re enough, worthy and kind

Honour that thought

Come, sit and feel blessed

Seeing the glory around.

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed

“A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.” — Arnold H. Glasow

“There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.” — Unknown

“A friend can tell you things you don’t want to tell yourself.”-Frances Ward Weller

Video Courtesy: Bill Withers
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBTrTXbSiv4Pq7As_tcB0UA

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked”- Bernard Meltzer

“Cherish the friend who tells you a harsh truth, wanting ten times more to tell you a loving lie.”- Robert Brault

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart.. I’ll always be with you.”- Winnie the Pooh

Quotes on Hard Work

Here's some of the all-time inspiring quotes I hold on to when it comes to Hardwork, Success and Determination.

A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. ~ Colin Powell, former U.S. Defense Secretary

We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in. ~ Ariana Huffington, businesswoman and author

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~ Dale Carnegie, American business icon

If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you – like a fever. ~ Sam Walton, founder of Walmart

Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. ~ Oprah Winfrey, media mogul

I think that my biggest attribute to any success that I have had is hard work. There really is no substitute for working hard. ~ Maria Bartiromo, television journalist and author

Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come. ~ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, former wrestler and actor

“Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You…Be Free…Share.”
― Steve Maraboli,( Life, the Truth, and Being Free)

The ones who say you can’t are too afraid you will. Nike

Do not whine… Do not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone. Joan Didion

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