Mothers often face unique challenges when it comes to finding and keeping a job. Juggling childcare responsibilities and managing household duties can make it difficult to commit to a strict, nine-to-five work schedule. To make the task of balancing work and parenting a little easier, some employers offer flexible work arrangements that allow busy mothers to create their own schedule.
At their core, flexible work policies involve restructuring a worker's hours, job location, and/or job duties. The goal is to meet both an employer's business needs and a worker's family needs. For example, a working mother might be able to work from home a few days each week, work a reduced number of hours, or work nights or weekends to fit in with her children's routines.
Flexible options can include any combination of remote working, part-time hours, job sharing, and compressed or flexible hours.
Remote working allows a worker to be based at home, a local or remote office, or a temporary workspace location. Job-sharing involves two or more workers splitting a single job role, usually on a part-time basis.
Compressed work schedules involve working fewer hours over four or five days a week, or using a flexible working pattern that allows for greater control over a worker's hours.
Flexible working comes with a number of benefits. For employers, flexible work arrangements can help to reduce sick time, boost employees 'morale, and promote better productivity.
For workers, flexible work options can help to eliminate the need for a costly childcare, as well as increase feelings of personal satisfaction and autonomy.
If flexible work arrangements sound like they would work for you, the first step is to have a conversation with your employer. Be sure to make your case in terms of what you can contribute, rather than what you need.
When discussing availability, keep in mind that a flexible arrangement isn't a substitute for parenting responsibilities. Your child's wellbeing should still be your top priority, and you should never put an unreasonable amount of extra pressure or stress on your workload.
For mothers looking for a better way to balance work and family life, flexible working can provide much-needed relief. With a little bit of willingness and a lot of communication, working parents can create and maintain a makeshift schedule that works for everyone.
Here are some extra points to discuss with your employer.
Flexible Working Enables Mothers to Balance Family and Career: One of the most important reasons why flexible working is important for mothers is that it enables them to balance family and career. Flexible working can come in many forms, such as working from home, part-time, job sharing, compressed work weeks, and flexible hours. Through these options, mothers can more easily manage their work and home lives, allowing them to spend more time with their children and still get the job done.
Flexible Working Helps Mothers Reduce Stress and Improve Mental Health: Another benefit of flexible working for mothers is that it can help reduce stress and improve mental health. For mothers who are already juggling multiple responsibilities, the flexible working arrangement can provide a much-needed break. With flexible working, mothers can take breaks when they need to, plan their day around family commitments, and have more control over their work/life balance. This can help reduce stress, improve concentration, and lead to better overall mental health.
Flexible Working Helps Mothers Access Resources and Support: A further benefit of flexible working for mothers is that it can help them access resources and support. For example, by working from home, mothers can access childcare resources more conveniently. Similarly, flexible working can also help mothers access other forms of support, such as counselling services or support groups. This can help them manage the competing demands of motherhood and their career more effectively.
Flexible Working Enables Mothers to Pursue Further Education: Flexible working can also enable mothers to pursue further education. For example, with flexible working arrangements, mothers can more easily accommodate the demands of attending classes, studying, and completing assignments. This can allow them to further their education and career prospects, while still having the flexibility to be there for their children.
Flexible Working Boosts Productivity and Morale: The benefits of flexible working are not just limited to mothers. Employers also stand to gain from offering flexible working arrangements. For employers, flexible working can boost productivity and morale, as employees feel more appreciated, motivated, and empowered. Furthermore, flexible working can also improve work-life balance and reduce staff turnover, as employees are more likely to stay with the company when they are offered flexibility.
Flexible Working Enhances Communication and Collaboration: Yet another benefit of flexible working for employers is that it can enhance communication and collaboration. By offering flexible working arrangements, employers can make it easier for employees to communicate and collaborate, regardless of where they are located. This can improve the quality of work, reduce communication barriers, and increase productivity.
Flexible Working Saves Money: Finally, flexible working can help employers save money. By offering flexible working arrangements, employers can reduce the need for office space and other associated costs. This can lead to significant cost savings and make the business more profitable.
In conclusion, flexible working is an important tool for both mothers and employers. For mothers, it can enable them to balance family and career, reduce stress and improve mental health, access resources and support, and pursue further education. For employers, it can boost productivity and morale, enhance communication and collaboration, and save money. Overall, flexible working provides a win-win situation for both mothers and employers.