Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

The Videoconference Debate Continues

DEAR HARRIETTE: I agree with so much of what Reality Check said but also with Professional Coach regarding women showing their faces on video conferencing. I am a woman who is currently not in the workforce. I care for our 4-year-old full-time. However, my husband, now working from home, is a full partner in this. I’m sick some days, and I can’t just take my child to drop-in care (in the current coronavirus climate) while I get rest. So my husband needs to do the care. And he does.

He has reminded his work team that everyone has a life that intersects with work, especially now, and he lives by that. My kid has interrupted, been half-naked, and thrown fits on client and co-worker calls my husband has taken. He never flinches. It’s not ideal, but it’s life. And I hope that being a woman, I would behave in the same unflinching way. Caring for children while in view of paying clients or everyday co-workers doesn’t demean anyone. It humanizes us. Maybe recognition of this fact can be a positive that comes from our forced working-from-home situation. One can only hope. -- Just a Normal Family

DEAR JUST A NORMAL FAMILY: Perhaps the fact that people who are part of our working lives periodically get glimpses of the juggle of our home lives may help us sensitize each other to the whole of our lives.

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