The Future of Working Mums: the Home-Office Trend.


When I started Mathilde & Co, I lived in a small village on the border of the Klein Karoo desert in South Africa. There wasn’t much work available if you couldn’t work from home or for yourself as an entrepreneur. It took me 6 years, but I did both. I haven’t set foot full-time in an office for the last 13 years, nor do I want ever again.

I believe that the “home office” concept is the way forward, for all of us. For a healthy family life, for equality in couples, and for more freedom just to be you.

Let’s face it, it’s easy. With the technology available to us nowadays, the entire world is an office. When I was little, I’d imagine a futuristic world where we could see the other person through the phone – today, that’s a normal thing. We don’t need to be sitting together physically to be sitting together. So we can work, efficiently, from absolutely anywhere we desire...

It takes a hell of a lot of self-control and discipline. Especially for us OTT mothers who will always remember to start a load of laundry or plan tonight’s dinner between an email and a conference call. It takes a lot of organizing for single mothers. It takes a huge amount of multitasking, dads! (FYI: Multitasking: verb – (of a person) to deal with more than one task at the same time) (I’m totally teasing you. Honest.)

Jokes apart, it’s not a walk in the park, although, having said that, I’m currently in France (yes, I am! I can work from all over the world) and WiFi is available in most parks… So you can sit and work with your laptop while watching the kids on the jungle gym (multitasking…ahem.) You can sit in Starbucks and not feel guilty. Better yet, there are Co-working spaces now where you can work and meet like-minded people, which is priceless because because as I always say, every person you meet brings you a key, to use now or later, but they are all part of the big puzzle which is your life. Exciting? And these new co-working spaces are popping up everywhere, which is really stimulating.

I have decided to make it my life’s mission (chapter, what are we on? 6? 7?) as a continuum to woman empowerment, to develop and promote the idea of working remotely.

It is so hard to find a job with the flexibility of hours necessary -and by that I mean, indispensable – to manage a fulfilling career and be a good, available, caring mother. The generation before us had the hard task of transitioning from the stay at home wife answering only to her lord and master, to being a career girl, a perfect mother, house-cleaner and hot stuff in the bedroom. All in a day.

But No more.

I need a career. I need to design, to manage and create. But I’m also a mother, a women, a lover of the outdoors and I need time to dance. And I won’t compromise on any of the above.

Businesses need to start acknowledging this growing trend and no doubt their employees will provide them with a higher quality of work. Don’t get me wrong, we still need office spaces and to be there maybe 2-3 days of the week, or perhaps a few hours a day, for brainstorming sessions, for good old colleague socialising and shenanigans - AKA team building sessions. Whatever balance is needed can be found, to the greatest satisfaction of everyone involved. 
Even the dog.


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