Remote, in-office or hybrid working - insights from South African working moms

The pandemic brought with it an unprecedented shift towards remote work. For some it was a blessing, while others were counting the days until they could get back to the office. Interested to find out what our moms in South Africa thought, Phillipa Geard, CEO of RecruitMyMom, posed the below questions to our community of skilled women.

Do you long to go back to the office? Do you dread having to go back to the office? Do you enjoy having the option to do a hybrid home and office job? Why? 

Here are some insights from the feedback we received from over 100 women.

The ability to manage your own time

Moms are naturally organised and many said they loved the freedom of managing their own time schedules and workloads in a way which best suited them. One mom said she enjoyed being more out-put based. “I can manage my own time … if I need to get the work done at night, that’s okay.” Another said she found returning to in-office work an adjustment as she had grown accustomed to managing her own work flow.

Financially beneficial

Many moms pointed out how the remote working model came with surprise added financial benefits. One respondent said she has “saved a lot on babysitting costs since working from home” while another pointed out that she’s “saving a huge amount on fuel as well as wear and tear on my vehicle.”

No more commute

A big pro for a lot of our moms was the extra boost in productivity which came with the culling of the commute. Time otherwise spent on the road was converted into extra work hours, exercise or a chance to fit in a craft or hobby.  “The time I used to spend sitting in traffic, I can use to do work at home.” Less time on the roads also led to a decrease in stress, “With Johannesburg traffic, when I finally reached my office, I would be tired and stressed with no more energy.”

Enjoying family time

With the pressure of the morning and evening rush relieved, moms found themselves enjoying their time with their family, instead of seeing it as a chore which needed to be ticked off a to-do list.  As one mom explained, “There's no waiting for me to get back then rushing around making dinner.”

Some valuable remote working considerations:

Zoom and gloom

There was a noticeable mention about the increased amount of time spent in online meetings. Some found it increased productivity, while others disagreed. One mum suggested her manager break their company meetings into individual team meetings in order to optimise productivity.

Isolation and disconnection

While most moms are happy to be working from home, it is important to highlight the danger of feeling isolated and alone.  One mom said “The joy of getting ready and the chance to wear some lipstick does improve one’s mood.” As an employer it is essential that your company create a team culture for remote employees where they can regularly interact with team members, both formally and informally. Fostering a culture of team interaction, or enabling a hybrid office-remote work life will help remote workers not to feel isolated or disconnected. 

Work-life boundaries

The, ‘are you working from home, or living at work?’ joke rang true for some moms who said they struggled to draw boundaries and found themselves working through every lunch break and switching on their lap tops again once they’d put their kids to bed. As an employer you can help by emphasising the importance of work-life balance and not sending work-related queries to your team after hours.

We can help to find the perfect solution

When it comes to working from home, the feedback we received proves there is no one-size fits all. It’s about finding the best full-time, hybrid or work-from-home model which works best for both the company and the employee. 

Ready to apply for the job of your dreams? Register for free on RecruitMyMom. Once registered, complete your online CV to start searching today. We operate nationally in South Africa, and globally for virtual assistants.

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