| Someone Should... |

Frum-Women-Only Offices

Admittedly, accommodations are not always easy and can oftentimes complicate matters

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f only we could… someone really should… we all know the problems. Some of us think we have the solutions. Can they really work? Readers are invited to share their proposals — and have them ranked by an expert in the field.

The problem

Many women have online jobs and work from home, although this setup often causes the blurring of boundaries, and we all know the dangers of having Internet at home. Still, taking office space is a luxury many cannot afford.

My Solution

I wonder if we could find donors who would provide subsidized Internet offices for women who prefer to work outside the home. It’s a very worthwhile cause — it’s an investment in the homes of Klal Yisrael with real-time benefits — and doesn’t have to entail a great expense. Having frum-women-only offices means there are no compromises in home standards, the women feel comfortable, and there’s a clear delineation between work and family.

Ranked by Mrs. Rivkie Feiner, Chief Executive Officer Universal Communications Network, Inc.

 

My Rating

Sounds like something that could work.


My Thinking

Clearly, the Internet, with all its advantages and disadvantages, is not only here to stay, but is currently the modus operandi for most businesses and organizations. This is a reality, and the frum community has no choice but to meet this challenge head-on. While there is no perfect solution to this challenge, there is no lack of creativity within our community, and creative solutions have often succeeded in enabling us to work with difficult realities.

As a working woman and a mother, I have personally experienced the challenges faced by so many working women. I’m currently the CEO of a frum all-women office and I’ve made considerable accommodations to help my staff operate optimally within their life’s constraints. My line of work relies heavily on computers and the Internet. This gives me the flexibility of allowing employees to work in the office on filtered computers or to work from home at hours that work for them, largely depending on their individual circumstances. One staff member lives in a community where computer use in the home is against the rules of her kehillah. Understanding that there are people in their kehillah whose parnassah depends on the use of technology, someone opened a small “Internet Café” arrangement in compliance with kehillah guidelines with separate men’s and women’s hours, thereby creating a halachically viable solution. There is a small rental fee for use that I am happy to pay on behalf of my employee. This is something that has been done in Eretz Yisrael and can be easily adopted elsewhere as well.

Admittedly, accommodations are not always easy and can oftentimes complicate matters. But overall, they work for me, because I work with my staff and they appreciate that. My office boasts an enviable esprit de corps, an environment where everyone wants the work to succeed and everyone wants to help everyone else. When a boss is willing to work with his/her employees, s/he can create win-win solutions.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 800)

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