Our work-from-home moms rock!
Work-from-home-mothers Shruthi Rao and Nithya Kalyani have a reason to celebrate – they have just completed a major milestone – one year with FlexiBees, a startup that provides on-demand talent and teams on a flexible/part time basis.
Shruthi, a B.Com graduate who is pursuing Company Secretaryship, always wanted to be independent like her mother – a working woman who managed her house and family, beautifully. Life, however, had other plans. As Shruthi embraced motherhood, she had to take the decision of quitting her job as a Financial Analyst of an investment banking company so that she could look after her newborn daughter. Shruthi was not too keen on sending her daughter to a day care and working full time. She realised that she would never get her baby’s childhood back, and so wanted to spend every moment of it with her.
Motherhood was again the reason why Nithya, a Post Graduate in Mass Communication and mother of a seven-year-old daughter and 2.5 years old son had to quit her fulltime job. “I went to a regular office until my first kid was two years old. I would depend on my Mother- in-Law to take care of my child. However, because of age and illness, she was unable to take care of my daughter fully and expected me to be back home early and start late to office.” As things went out of control, Nithya started to wonder why she was in the rat race. That was when she decided to take things in her hand and quit her job to take care of her child.
But life post work was not easy for either Shruthi or Nithya. While Shruthi started feeling depressed after a year of not working, Nithya felt her education was going to waste by not working at all. She also needed the extra earnings to support her family. “I would compare myself with my peers and friends on their professional growth and was upset by the fact that I couldn’t rejoin work. I am glad I have supporting husband and parents who helped me to come out of this,” explains Shruthi.
Shruthi and Nithya are more the norm in India than the exception. According to data from the International Labour Organization, more women are leaving the work force in India, while the reverse is happening everywhere else. The percentage of working-age women who are part of the labour force has dropped by 10 percent, since 2005, making India the country with the highest drop. A major reason for this is marriage and the fact that in India the task of rearing children falls mostly on women.
This is where companies like FlexiBees are making a difference. Started by Deepa N Swamy, Shreya Prakash and Rashmi Rammohan, batch mates from IIM Bangalore, the start-up looks to connect women who have quit the work force, with opportunities that give them the flexibility to choose their timings and work from home. Being an all-women’s team, the members understand the need for flexibility, and thus work with clients who also accept the same. In fact, not only do their clients accept it, they benefit from it as this model provides businesses with flexible and productive talent solutions at the tip of their fingers. Clients get to reduce time and cost, while being ensured of high quality work.
Shruthi, who completes a year with FlexiBees, got to know about the company through their Facebook page, and applied. While she initially worked in the Finance team of one of FlexiBees’ clients, Shruthi is now the Finance Manager for FlexiBees. In her new role, she manages the company accounts, makes payments to consultants, drafts contracts and maintains and documents various accounting information related to the company.
About her experience, Shruthi adds, “These projects helped me learn the actual business. FlexiBees has given me an exposure to various fields and thus has become a major learning platform – may it be related to accounting, finance, legal, or through conversations with experts in this field such as chartered accountants and company secretaries. FlexiBees has given back my lost confidence.”
On the personal front, the flexible timings, and ability to work from home, have given her the opportunity to work as well see her little daughter, who is now three, grow up. “I don’t know how one year has passed. With interesting projects and work assignments I love my work here and every day I get to learn something new,” explains a delighted Shruthi.
Nithya concurs and adds, “I joined as a Community Manager with FlexiBees, and gradually, the founders started giving me more varied and challenging roles such as Database Management, Project Management etc. As a Consultant for FlexiBees, the work is always challenging and fun. I feel like I get to learn something new almost every day! I am able to use my talents, abilities, and passion with great satisfaction, thanks to FlexiBees. I’ve happily referred numerous colleagues to register with them.”
Working from home has its challenges as well. In a country like India, where the concept of work-from-home is still new, and people assume that you are working only if you go to a physical office every day, getting family members to understand that you have some work commitments and they are important and real ones, becomes a real challenge. “Determination and patience are the main keys that helped me to make them understand the importance of my job,” explains Nithya.
Flexibility and understanding are keys to success, and both Shruthi and Nithya have received ample support from the FlexiBees team. This is primarily because the team believes in a world where people don’t have to constantly be choosing between personal and professional lives, and hence are in favor of personal time-offs and vacations. Having said that, the founders also understand that the world outside is highly competitive, and timely delivery is key. Thus they ensure that they and their teams plan ahead for any leaves or vacations that anybody has to take.
Both Nithya and Shruthi see themselves growing with FlexiBees, as they take on more exciting and challenging projects. Nithya adds, “As my kids grow up, I see myself taking up bigger projects and different, challenging tasks. What FlexiBees offers is every new age mom’s dream – freedom, support, and encouragement to work while you focus on your family too.”
Like Shruthi and Nithya, many other such talented and qualified women are keen to put their skills to use, while also ensuring that they spend quality time at home with their families. This just goes to prove that part-time work is here to stay, and so is FlexiBees!