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Women face unique challenges in remote work environments

Women face unique challenges in remote work environments

Womens unique challenges in the remote work environment

Lori Villegas is senior vice president, wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley.

Many employers switched to remote work when the COVID-19 epidemic was declared in March 2020. Employees were able to see their coworkers’ homes, children, and pets for the first-time.

Lori Villegas (senior vice president, wealth advisor for Morgan Stanley) was reminded of The Wizard of Oz’s scene where the real man behind the wizards’ faade was revealed.

(Remote Work) allowed the cloak of the pandemic to return to all of our lives, male and female. However, Villegas, who is based at Baltimore, stated that the idea was that all of us were just human beings and had many different roles to fulfill. We might have tried to compartmentalize these roles before, but everything was a lot more fluid during the initial days of the pandemic.

Remote work during a pandemic presents unique challenges for women, particularly those who have to care for elderly relatives and children.

Many women had the challenge of juggling full-time jobs and helping schoolchildren via remote learning, while also keeping an eye on their younger children.

Sheela Murthy, founder of the Owings Mills-based Murthy Law Firm notes that children visit their mothers often during the workday.

She stated that they believe that if they are at home, they will be able to spend time with them, play with them, and help them throughout the day.

The result: Many women quit work.

It is unfair, but it is the way it has been for two years, Murthy stated.

Angela Celestin is CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s executive vice president and chief of human resources officer. She said that everyone has been affected by the transition to remote work.

She added that it is difficult for us to generalize about someone’s experience as home life can be so varied for everyone. My experience is that there is an expectation that, because I am at home, I can do more.

Celestin works remotely while her husband is in a traditional office. Celestin says that while housework, morning routines, and meal preparation were once shared responsibilities, she now does more of them from home.

Thats why its critical for employers — more importantly, managers — to cultivate a healthy work culture that gives employees the tools to succeed, she said. It is easy to blur the lines between professional and personal life. It is important to communicate your responsibilities outside of work to your manager or team. Also, set some boundaries so that working from home doesn’t feel like a spinning wheel.

Murthy stated that women also miss the social aspect of working in an office. For example, they miss being able to visit someone’s cubicle to say hello and exchange ideas.

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She said that unless we make it happen and schedule times, all of this is unlikely to happen. Most people are reluctant to do so because they are tired from being online all day.

What about the time that women can save by not having a commute?

Villegas stated that it was possible to have more meetings per day and be more productive if you don’t have the drive time. The downside to this is that you need to be more thoughtful about your calendar. You could easily book meetings after meetings and not allow yourself any downtime.

Said Villegas : I believe that COVID (started for some) this life-changing change, (which) has really encouraged me to refocus on my boundaries.

Celestin believes remote work promotes health.

She stated that personally, I feel less tied down to my desk. It’s easier to get up and move about when I’m at home. Walking allows me to be more focused on a meeting or phone conversation than if I have to constantly check my email. I pay more attention to my diet and how often I exercise. It is important for me to feel refreshed.

Murthy suggests that women can take advantage of the flexibility of working from home in order to be more creative and strategic as well as to reduce burnout.

She said that women are excellent multitaskers and entrepreneurs. How can we make the most out of all this remote work opportunity so we don’t feel like we’re always getting the short end?

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