@ The Entrepreneurial Parent
en-parent.com

    

EP Mailing Lists

Subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter or join our daily discussion!

Win $100 in prizes!
 

Six Ways to Work-Family Balance

Your home life, finances and career goals will help you determine which work option is best for you at this phase of your life. Here is an overview of the most common full-time and part-time flexible work arrangements to consider.

© 1998, by Pat Katepoo

Choosing a Full-Time Flexible Work Option

In general, proposing a full-time flexible arrangement is an easier "sell" than a part-time one, especially with unenlightened bosses or with employers who lack policies promoting flexibility.

Flexible work options which maintain your full-time income include flextime, telecommuting and compressed work week. Here's a quick overview of full-time work options:

1 - Flextime

Flextime is the most popular flexible work option available and usually the easiest to get approved. It would allow you a flexible starting and quitting time within management-set limits. For example, if your normal work hours are from 8 - 5, a flextime schedule might allow you to work from 6:30 to 3:30, 9 to 6, or whatever start/stop time worked best for you, while still being workable for your employer. If your employer doesn't already offer flextime, this should be the easiest option to propose.

Choose the flextime option if you want to preserve your visibility on the job by your daily presence, yet could use the restructured "extra" time provided in the morning or afternoon.

2 - Telecommuting

Telecommuting would allow you to work at home during part of your scheduled hours. Typically, telecommuters come into the office two or three days a week to attend meetings and stay visible and in touch. It may or may not involve computers, although computers are a common element of telecommuting.

If at least part of your job responsibilities are conducive to it, choose the telecommuting or work-from-home option if cutting the time, costs and stress of commuting will bring the greatest flexibility payoffs.

3 - Compressed Work Week

The compressed work week has you working 40 hours in fewer than five days. The most widely used set-up is 10 hour days for four days a week. Another arrangement is called 5-4/9. This is a week of five nine-hour days followed by a week of four nine-hour days, and would give you a day off every other week. Consider arranging the 5-4/9 option during the summer months or during the winter holidays. That may be a good way to get your employer to give it a trial run.

Choose this option if you need that additional day off, have the stamina to consistently work nine and 10-hour days, and if outside scheduling commitments and arrangements (e.g., child care) can fit into this non-traditional schedule.

Whether your employer has flexible work policies or not, a well-thought-out, written proposal to your immediate supervisor is a crucial step to getting approval. It's up to you to develop the "business case" which shows how your employer will benefit and have its needs met under your new arrangement. Your boss will want assurance that it can work; spelling out the details on paper goes a long way to giving that assurance. This approach is the most effective, time-proven way to a proposed new work arrangement approval.

Choosing a Part-time Flexible Work Option

1 - Part-Time Work Option

Would you say you have an over-scheduled lifestyle? Choosing a part-time work option can be just the ticket to a "downshifted" pace, while still remaining active and visible in your career. Consider the following options.

2 - Shortened Work Day

Are you often tired with little time for yourself after you've taken care of everyone else's needs? If so, a shortened work day of five, six or seven hours can help make the difference between stress and sanity as you juggle your work and personal lives. With fewer hours on the job, you may find yourself with more energy to get the job done.

3 - Shortened Work Week

If you'd like a full day off during the week to be with your young children, an elderly family member, work on your home business, or just get some personal time, a shortened work week may be your best option. A four day work week can be an affordable option that works well in most professional positions.

4 - Job Sharing Arrangement

Anything less than four days a week and you may be unable to meet your job duties -- unless you job share. A job sharing arrangement is a form of part-time work where two people share the responsibilities of one full-time position. For professionals or managers and others in high level career paths, job sharing is an attractive work option for keeping on the career track while still allowing more time outside of work.

Redesigning your job to be less-than-full-time generally requires thoughtful and thorough planning. Your boss/employer will want assurance of how the work will get done with your new arrangement. Be sure to cover all the bases in your proposal in order enhance your chances of getting approval for a new, part-time work schedule.

If your employer does not have a part-time or job-sharing policy, be encouraged by the fact that many such arrangements are set up informally between a valued employee and his or her boss.

Policy or not, a well-thought-out, written proposal to your immediate supervisor is a crucial step to getting approval. It's up to you to develop the "business case" which shows how your employer will benefit and have its needs met under your new arrangement. Your boss will want assurance that it can work; spelling out the details on paper goes a long way to giving that assurance. This approach is the most effective, time-proven way to a proposed new work arrangement approval.


© 1998 Pat Katepoo, all rights reserved. For reprint permission contact Pat Katepoo at . Need a short-cut? If you would like a short-cut way to develop your flexible work plan and proposal, consider Flex Success, an EP Report that is an inexpensive proposal blueprint sent by e-mail. It walks you through the proposal steps in a systematic manner. Once filled out, you'll have a detailed, customized plan to help you gain your boss's approval for your new work arrangement. You can order your copy any time, day or night, and get started right away towards that more balanced lifestyle!

 
 
EP Showcase | Forums | Membership | Directory | Experts | Career Counseling
Mailing List | Resource Center | Books | Articles | Archives | Web Links | Gift Shop
In the Media | Site Contents | Search Site | About EP | Advertise at EP | Link to Us
 
 
 
 
© 2000, The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
P.O. Box 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432 | www.en-parent.com
Please Read Disclaimer Before Using Site | Email: