Believe it or not, if you are a working mom and have two children, you are more productive than your female counterparts who have never had children or maybe have only one child! This was the result of the research division of the Federal Bank of St.Louis who did a major study on this topic.
Let’s face it. Many employers think that once a woman becomes a working mom, she is going to be less dedicated and even less hard working than before she gave birth. They rarely say this in public but it is a stereotype that still remains. But the facts and research are painting an entirely different picture.
If you are still not convinced that working moms are more productive, here are 13 reasons why this is a fact of life. They need our respect, support, and praise more than ever.
1. They excel at multi-tasking
Multi tasking may not always be a good thing when you have to concentrate. It can slow you down and switching from one task to another is not exactly efficient. But it is extremely useful when you want to cut a few corners and especially when you are using different channels. Working moms do that all the time at home and they can adapt it also to when they are at work. They can reflect on feedback while waiting on hold or moving from one office to another. The physical tasks are almost automatic but the mental processes can be highly efficient. They do the same at home as they do laundry and ironing while they plan meals, shopping and outings with their kids.
2. They are really flexible
They have to forego the perfect home and will be flexible about working arrangements in the office if their boss allows it. Look at the infographic here to find out the struggles working moms have when they cannot get flexible working hours. This means they have to jump through more hoops and juggle everything a bit more cleverly.
3. They manage their time better
In other words working moms do not waste this precious commodity. How could they? They are simply better at time management. An Ernst and Young study found that this was true because women wasted only 11% of their time compared to 14.5% for the rest of the workforce.
“I can now very respectfully get to the point, get information, I ask better questions … I direct conversations more efficiently.” – Melanie Ocana, mom to two children and business owner.
4. They are more empathetic
Being a mother brings out all the empathy and nurturing needed in human relationships and that is so useful at work. Networking, collaborating and team work all demand these qualities and working mothers have them in abundance.
5. They are happier and more fulfilled
Working moms feel more satisfied with their lives as they have greater independence, can follow their interests and passions and have a greater sense of purpose. Their careers and their families can benefit enormously from this, according to the American Psychological Association and they are generally happier than the stay-at-home moms.
6. They welcome the break away from their kids
Yes, it is a super challenge and many working moms thrive on it. There is also another reason in that they can benefit from the change of scene and give their all to their job. “How on earth will you manage to juggle your family and job?” is the classic question at interviews. The best answer of all is: “Believe it or not, I like being away from my kids during the workday… just like you.”
7. They are more motivated at work
Working moms have a lot on their plate and the motivation they feel to spend some precious time with their kids means they are even more productive.
“Not wanting to work too late or too many weekends, when I am in the office I get it done.”- Tonisha Pinckney, criminologist and mother to two teenagers.
8. They are more efficient at home and at work
Working moms realize fairly quickly that running a household means streamlining routines and schedules at home and not worrying about a perfect household where everything runs like clockwork. However, they will be able to use their work experience to make the household run more smoothly. This will also benefit their work.
“I had to set smart goals at home and make sure that they were religiously met or else my responsibilities with my job suffer … being a parent made me see the importance of setting up a plan, implementing it well with room for spontaneity and flexibility, and then evaluating the outcomes.” – Chris Ruffolo, writer and mom to twins.
9. They are paving the way for equality
Long way to go. But working moms now are showing that they can be more efficient and organised even when they have to juggle mothering and working. Just think what working moms could achieve if there were better facilities for childcare, paid sick leave and more access to flexi time. They would become super efficient and get the equal pay which is their right.
Once the pressure is off the working moms who are juggling an astonishing number of demands on their time and energy, there will be a much more relaxed attitude at work. Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Don’t Cry is leading the way with this video interview. She is basically saying:- “Newborn baby, breastfeeding mom, no big deal—let’s get to work.”
10. They are providing strong female models for their children
This makes parenting so much easier for them because they are providing a model for their children to follow by being dynamic and following their career objectives. They are really raising them to be strong individuals and their children can feel proud that their moms are successful. This makes parenting easier, can alleviate many of the pressures at home and make them even more productive at work. Working moms often make the boundaries clear.
“I work my day around being able to be home with them in the morning and at nights. We don’t have meetings at 6 o’clock; I’m home having dinner with my family. I also have an incredibly supportive husband who as made accommodations for our family because it’s incredibly important to us. We’re an equal partnership that we’ve had to evolve.” – Jessica Herrin, mom to two daughters and founder of Stella & Dot
11. They are less likely to gossip
There is simply no time for office politics or gossip at the water cooler. These sessions are often highly unproductive and create a toxic workplace. Because of simple time constraints and because working moms know better, you will not find them at the water cooler doing that.
12. They never have hangovers
Younger, single staff may actually have more sick leave due to late nights and hangovers. This is why many employers now hire working moms as they are more productive and they never have hangovers!
13. They make better team players
Employers now want more efficient and better team players and working moms fit the bill perfectly. This is what Microsoft research found when they interviewed 2,000 women and 500 employers about working moms. When they were asked whether the working moms made better team players, 57% said that the mothers were definitely better than single or childless women.
The best news of all is that technology s now helping working moms with their juggling tasks and they are becoming even more productive now in the workplace. More great news is that some forward looking companies are allowing moms to bring their child and carer on business trips until the baby is one year old. Way to go!
Featured photo credit: My mom, at work/ Nick Gray via flickr.com