This post is also available in: Japanese
Having a first baby has been a whole new experience to me – on May 31st I had another first: first day for my son @ work! With the concept of future work, at Continental Japan (there are both Automotive and Rubber groups and the majority of our employees here is automotive engineers), the Headquarter introduced a new office layout that enables us to transform to be more agile, collaborative and productive. In our HR area, a nursing room for working mothers / fathers was created to bring their children at the office as a trial and I tried it out. It was, I have to say, a pure experiment to bring my own child to the office.
As a working mom I came back to work in April 4 months after giving a birth to my first child in December 2016. Now I work full time using flex time so my working hours are from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. Also I work from home once a week so that I can save time for commuting and spend more time with my son. So this experiment is a stroke of luck for me that I can be with my son during the day and do not have to pick him up at day-care after work which is exhausting sometimes.
I had a few concerns regarding taking him at work if he cries out while meeting or at any time and bother people in the office. Despite my concerns, my colleagues were very supportive and he had been very calm in the office that day. Of course it was not easy sometimes concentrating on the job because of his sudden needs for his food, changing diaper and being fussy before falling asleep, etc.
But as a mom, I was truly happy that I was able to spend time with him while I excel my profession. My priorities change over the time, but I always valued the experience I can gain from work as well as the time with people who I care about. Balancing work and life can be challenge for me but having such a choice makes a huge difference and I believe what’s more important is to fulfill both life and work. I cannot achieve this by myself however without understanding of my colleagues, supervisor and of course support from my husband. Furthermore what I learnt from being a mom is that the role of men and women can be shared at home as well as at work. What keeps them separate is the mindset and the mindset can be changed while you experience it – the new office is full of opportunity to experience future work (you can check how our office look like)! I look forward to such experiments and this good influence extends to our organization.