I’m a single mother with 3 kids, and one of them has special needs. I want to contribute to Carigos, and I know I can do it well, but I need flexibility to take care of my family. I’ve been teaching my daughter to commute independently to school, but she still misses getting off at the right bus stops. While her sister (who studies in a different school) accompanies her home on certain days, I need to pick her up on Wednesdays and Fridays as there is no one else to turn to. I understand if this doesn’t work for your company, but I want to be upfront about my needs.
What would you do if this appeal came from an applicant who seems to be the right fit for your company?
Part 1: Why Did We Start Working from Home?
We hired this talent in 2018 with a special arrangement that allows her to work from home on Wednesdays and Fridays so that she may attend to her daughter’s needs. I recall feeling quite smug about creating a win-win solution for her and Carigos, and we now had a shining example of the great work-life balance at Carigos… until Andre, my Chief Commercial Officer, proposed extending work-from-home to the entire team.
“Everyone gets to work from home regularly and routinely? Umm…”
I was prepared to grant flexible work hours if it did not overly inconvenience our work; and it certainly challenged my view that a team is most productive only when working together in-person. Andre’s proposal forced me to confront my fears about whether people would skive when working outside the office.
This mistrust was of course irrational. Afterall, we handpicked each team member and entrust them to tackle challenging problems and creating value for our customers and partners every day. Trusting them with mission-critical work while doubting their ability to manage their time? Didn’t make sense.
Today, we pride ourselves for the successful implementation of telecommuting – otherwise known as work-from-home – shifting our focus to work efficiency and outcomes rather than the hours clocked. Our teammates now have the autonomy to stay home if they are feeling unwell or require some personal time off to send their children to school but are able to continue working for the rest of the day.
In implementing work-from-home, I realised that it was more daunting than just trusting my team; it required us to upgrade our Productivity Infrastructure, develop Team Communications Maturity and our Leadership & Management Capabilities. Above all, it required Leadership Commitment.