Would a flexible schedule benefit your family?

In the midst of our ever-changing world, it’s not uncommon to find employers opting out of the stereotypical 9-5 workday and offering their employees a flexible work schedule instead, but would this benefit your family?

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It might not be the right fit for every employee or company, but recently the concept of flexible work time has made front page news. The debate regarding the benefits of a flexible work schedule heated up when it was announced that the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, banned her employees from telecommuting. This switch in Yahoo’s corporate policy has pushed the hot topic of flexible work schedules into the headlines, but what is a flexible schedule, and can it benefit you and your family?

The flexible work schedule

A modified or flexible work schedule can mean a number of things. Depending on your needs and those of your employer, it could mean you would be working from home one or more days a week, have flex days to schedule appointments or accommodate school schedules and holidays, have a compressed work week with extended daily work hours, take part in job sharing or have a variation in work start and end times.

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The pros

There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to working on an alternative schedule. Here are some of the advantages to consider:

  • Less commute times and parking issues
  • Less out-of-pocket expenses, such as for gas, parking, daily meals out and for having an extensive work wardrobe
  • More opportunities to spend time with your family
  • Possible increased personal productivity, as you might be able to choose to work during your peak performance times
  • Efficient personal time management and more time to fulfill personal obligations, such as family commitments

The cons

Here are a few of the disadvantages to mull over when contemplating if a flexible work schedule is right for you:

  • Less personal interaction with colleagues and less of a chance to network with others
  • Possible difficulty in finding a day home or child care provider who can accommodate an alternative schedule
  • Potential for longer workdays and extended hours, which can be physically and mentally draining
  • Potential for fewer paid hours if your employer can’t work with your modified schedule
  • Less of an opportunity to fulfill personal obligations during the work week
Take some time to consider the pros and cons for your specific situation. Working from home or having more days off might seem ideal initially but depending on your job and your family’s schedule it could add more stress to your day. If you think a flexible schedule might work better for you and you think your employer might be open to the idea consider talking to them about it. Any change in your work schedule will take some adjustment even if you think it will work better for you and your family.

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