Work Life Blending: A working mother’s story

As Mothers Day approaches it reminds me how lucky I am to work for a company that provides me the flexibility of “Work Life Blending.”

The phrase “Work Life Blending” is often used by Cisco Canada President Nitin Kawale to describe the new work environment. Any working parent knows there is no such thing as a “Work Life Balance,” but rather only ones ability to manage the chaos. Juggling skills help too!

Today, I left the office early to catch my daughter’s final school soccer game. Standing on the sidelines I was able to check emails, approve a document, and send a personal reminder to myself. I could have been at a doctor’s appointment, recital or even attending an appointment with an aging parent. The hardest part about productivity tools is remembering to be present when you are with the ones you love.  Luckily, children are the best form of policing!

You might wonder how Cisco helps me be more productive at work while still helping me keep my favourite title “Wife and Mother of Two.”  It is the little things that I don’t even think about anymore.  I am provided the tools to work remotely, from home or in the office – really anywhere, anytime and on any device.  Over 50 per cent of my work is done off-site and off working hours.

There will never be more hours in the day for a working parent, but there are a few tools to make them more productive. As a working parent my ability to recall has diminished. I need to write things down but often they end up scrunched up at the bottom of my purse. I am by no means a leading edge technologist and my advice is to adjust gradually to productivity tools. Below are tools and websites I have found useful to manage the chaos!

Khan Academy – The best website if you want to help your kids with their math homework. Where was this when I was growing up? It is library of over 3,000 videos that cover K-12 math and science. Each video is a digestible chunk, approximately 10 minutes long, and especially purposed for viewing on the computer. The Credit Crisis Video is very interesting.  And you can practice the skills at your own pace.

Istudiez Pro – This is a great app for students to keep organized.  Teach them young!

Evernote – Essentially a project management tool for your life, Evernote is an easily accessible, free Web-based tool that can help you manage work and personal commitments. As a working mom, I love the virtual “sticky notes” that I can access anywhere. The free app also allows you to record audio “reminders” to yourself from anywhere.

Siri – The popular iPhone 4 app features voice command and geo-location.  You can tell Siri to remind you to call the doctor when you get to your office.  It knows when you’ve reached your office and will send you a note.  (Very cool, but it will take me time to get comfortable with this technology)

I also appreciate those who market to me directly when I’m crunched for time:

Fisher and Company – I hate shopping, but I do like new clothes. Fisher and Company carry fashions for the working woman. When I can’t get to the store the owner sends me pictures of what I might like and if I do go to see her, they are guaranteed to have the outfit in the picture in my size.  No wasting time. 

I would love to hear what you think and if you have any ideas to share with working/juggling parents.

About Tracey McLean-Thompson

Tracey McLean-Thompson is the lead of Borderless Network Architectures for Cisco Canada’s partner organization. In her role Tracey leads business development for Cisco’s largest architecture across Canada, encompassing routing and switching, security, WAN optimization and wireless solutions. Tracey works with new and existing partners to create awareness, enablement and demand generation for Cisco’s borderless network architecture across all markets and industries. Tracey is a 20 year veteran of the information technology industry and has a bachelor of economics degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Tracey recently took up road biking but won’t brave the streets of Toronto because she cannot text and ride! Tracey McLean-Thompson est chef des architectures de réseaux sans frontières pour le groupe partenaire de Cisco Canada. Dans le cadre de ses fonctions, Tracey dirige les activités de développement des affaires pour le groupe d'architectures de systèmes le plus important de Cisco pour tout le Canada, englobant les solutions de routage, de commutation, de sécurité, d'optimisation de réseaux étendus et de réseaux sans fil. Tracey collabore avec les nouveaux partenaires et ceux qui sont déjà avec Cisco pour attirer l'attention, faciliter et créer de la demande pour les architectures de réseaux sans frontières de Cisco pour tous les marchés et secteurs. Tracey a une expérience de 20 ans dans le secteur des technologies de l'information et détient un baccalauréat en économie de l'université Wilfrid Laurier. Tracey s'est mise récemment au cyclisme de route, mais elle ne se risquera pas dans les rues de Toronto, car elle ne peut texter et pédaler en même temps!
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One Response to Work Life Blending: A working mother’s story

  1. Pingback: The summer of BYOD spells great news for partners | Cisco Canada Blog

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