I became an aunt this past summer to baby Chloe, who is the cutest baby in the whole wide world (bias aside she is super duper cute). I started to think to myself and wondered how hard is it going to be for my sister and other working moms to go back to work after being off on maternity leave?
Full-time work is not the ideal situation for all new moms. Part-time work is great but its hard to find a great paying part-time job. What most working moms want is the ability to work flexible hours and still have the benefits of full-time employment. So if you can’t afford to work part-time the best idea is to negotiate for flex time with your boss.
Before you get excited and call your boss you should ask your friends and/or coworkers who are already working a flexible schedule or have in the past. You want to find out what they like(d) or dislike(d) about it. Other options may be going prorated or job sharing but you need to think about how it will effect your pay and if it will hurt your career.
If your company allows you to go prorated you need to keep in mind that your benefits will most likey be reduced. You may not even be eligible for benefits but it will depend on how many hours a week you work.
Ask The Boss
So you’ve thought about it and flex time sounds ideal (no decrease to your pay or benefits). Well, now you have to ask your employer and you need to show how all of your job responsibilities will be covered.
Things to consider:
- What tasks can you do at home?
- Can you eliminate any tasks?
- Can you delegate any tasks to another person?
- How will you handle work emergencies?
Your boss does not have to agree to your request for flex time so make sure you come prepared and it’s a good idea if you can show that it will benefit the company/business.
It’s also a good idea to write a proposal so try to find documents/templates on the Internet or intranet that will help.
Depending on how cool your company is your boss may not be keen at first so ask them to agree on a trial basis. A trial basis not only helps your boss figure out if your new schedule can work but you will be able to iron out any kinks and get used to the new schedule as well.
You will have to get used to your new schedule and make sure that you’re getting your work done but also not working overtime.
Things to Remember:
- Tell only the co workers that you work with directly. There is no need to send a mass email to the organization telling them your new schedule
- Don’t forget to tell your customers
- If you say that you’re going to check your email and voicemail regularly then do it
- Set realistic deadlines so you don’t work overtime
- Make sure you stay in touch with your boss and that you both agree that things are running smoothly
- Be prepared to work when your boss says “all hands on deck” but also remember to take time off when work is slow
Some coworkers might resent your new schedule so don’t make a scene when you leave or arrive to work. Just remind them that their work day ends at 5pm while yours doesn’t. Not everyone likes the idea of working weekends or checking emails in the evening.
The key to a happy employee is work-life balance. Your company should be very interested in working with you because they want to keep good employees. Remember to prepare and do your research.
If you’re a mom returning to the working world and need help with your resume visit My Services Page.