In playing our different roles in society as women, daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, career/ business women, juggling roles can be quite tasking. 

As the lockdown eases around the world and the new normal increases, the tendency to be away from work for one reason or the other still beckons. To compound issues, schools are yet to resume, hence, day-care/other child minding services are few and far between.

But as ladies who want to get ahead in life (with a well-balanced work-life), absence from the office (be it remote office operations or physically in a corporate/ business designated workplace) must be managed professionally and with wisdom.

We must always remember that women are working more than ever before. Having a job or business commitment is based on agreed needs/skills for exchange of goods/ services.  Reliability is the bane of business.

No matter how hard we try, as human beings, there will be the odd moment, when you cannot be present at a designated post as required. But it appears women give out too much information about why they are not showing up for work, giving room for their personal lives to be too open.

We must remember that how we manage our absence from the office builds or breaks our reputation as competent and reliable professionals or business people. 

We may have to be more professional and creative in managing absence. For example, if you need to take a day off for a sick child, just take the day off formally without having to share details/sentiments as much as possible.

But how we handle absence (even if you are the ‘Oga’-at-the-top) will leave an impression on staff/colleagues and will determine whether they will remain motivated and even be willing to help out where possible!

Studies have shown that in reality, ‘working mums still have most of the responsibilities at home’ and family issues. There is a ‘perception’ that women with young families or who are newly wedded will need more time off and these are stereotypes that must be managed, so we can be our true selves and still excel in our job roles.

Common reasons for absence from work for women include:

  1. No workplace policies that allow workplace flexibility, medical leave, paid sick days and affordable childcare.

  2. Caring for young/ill children, ageing parents.

  3. Sickness/doctor’s appointments.

  4. House/Family emergencies

  5. Delivery/major house repairs or movements

  6. Maternity/nurturing responsibilities.

As females, we definitely bring the maternity and family needs to the workplace, which also can be a balance of the reality of life.

 But we must comport ourselves in a dignified and professional manner, delivering on KPIs whilst ensuring that any absence from work is always replenished with ultimately delivering on the job as individuals or as part of a team. 

Remember, we are ‘ambassadors’ for other upcoming female executives or entrepreneurs. So make sure that your footprints always inspire or encourage the hiring of other females for the roles you occupy or jobs you create.