Many employers have ushered in a new age of flexible scheduling and family friendly benefits, helping employees achieve greater balance in their lives. However, while rigid productivity standards and a 1950’s mentality about face-time remain, the availability of these benefits does not always translate well into a workplace environment that is flexible or family friendly.
You can do your part to help your employer establish and maintain a culture of flexibility in the workplace where mom can work the hours she wants to maintain a home life with her children, Dad can take a paternity leave, and your employer can rest easy that productivity and morale remain high.
First, do a little research about what family friendly benefits and flexible scheduling options are currently available to employees at your company. Take a look at your employer’s mission statement, employee handbook, and marketing and recruitment tools.
Then talk to your coworkers about which benefits they have successfully utilized. Also, find out what, if any, resistance others have met in requesting flexible scheduling options.
As you think about talking to your employer about working on a more flexible schedule, it helps to create a list of options that you're willing to consider. It will also help if you can outline the benefits of each for both you and the employer.
If you're not successful in creating a more flexible schedule the first time you talk to your manager, keep trying. Bring up the issue again in a few months and remember to focus on why working in a more flexible way will make you a better employee and create concrete benefits for the employer. They are not doing you a favor - having happy employees does translate into better results for th company.