I have a sticker on my work laptop that says “This is my office”. And it truly is. As long as I have my laptop, anywhere I am can become my office with the touch of a button (the power on button on the laptop that is).
As I am writing this, I am having a Teh-C Ko-Song (Locally brewed tea with condensed milk and no sugar), kaya butter toast (toasted bread with coconut jam and butter) and 2 soft-boiled eyes sitting in a local café waiting for my kids to finish their enrichment class.
I am a single mother with 4 young kids and I am also a Senior Manager working on Global Diversity & Inclusion for Microsoft’s subsidiaries in Asia Pacific, Greater China and Japan. It’s a great job that resonates with my own personal values of doing work that will positively impact people and society. And the icing on the cake? I get to do my work anywhere I want, when I want to.
Microsoft’s culture of trust in the workplace has truly enabled employees such as myself to be totally untethered from the office desk. “Flexible work arrangements” are not just words in an employee’s handbook or company policy. Actually, I have tried to find Microsoft’s policy on flexible working and there isn’t one. I guess it’s hardwired into the company’s DNA.
So I really get to be a part of my kids’ lives during my “office hours” (if there is such a thing in Microsoft – more on that in another blog) and I enjoy the privilege of being able to pick my kids up at the end of their school day, to attend their presentations and school events, and to send them to their enrichment classes, all while keeping on top of projects, meetings, teleconferences and e-mails. All thanks to my two offices. Two offices? Oh yes, the second office fits nicely into my handbag – it’s my smart phone.