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Alternative Work Arrangements For Working Mothers

Balancing home and work can cause high levels of stress, fatigue and anxiety for some mothers. The fear of getting dumped at either of the places (house or job site) is making them sacrifice even those few moments they reserve for themselves. The burden of care is most often placed on the mother; for example, when a child becomes ill, the mother is more likely to have to take time off work to care for the child. Many mothers are looking at alternative work arrangements to help better coordinate a work/home balance.

Flexible working hours:
Many companies are beginning to understand the demands on parents in today’s society, and are amenable to discussing flexible working hours.

  • According to a study , about 51 percent of companies offered some type of employment flexibility in the year 1990  to their female workers. This number rose to about 73 percent in the year 1995.
  • About 55 percent of companies offered flex-time, while about 51 percent of others offered part-time work.

Mothers who work on a part-time basis have been found to be satisfied and happy with their jobs and with their families.
But, the disadvantage of part-time work is less pay and health insurance coverage.  Sometimes, the workload can become disproportionate, causing an extension of working hours and ultimately more work stress. Some part-time workers find resentment from their full-time colleagues.

Job Shifts:
Couples can start working in different shifts in order to balance the household. Working at different shifts can be a very good option for couples with both the partners working outside of the home. This option can be very economical for a family because they will not have to pay for outside childcare. The drawback is sharing less time together as a family.

Sharing Jobs:
Some companies are starting to offer job sharing.  In this case, two people fill one full -time position. They alternate their hours so that the company always has 100 percent coverage in that particular position. One pair of job-sharers may prefer working on alternate days, while a second one might like either of the pair working 2 days in a row and a part of the third day. The major benefit in this type of offering is the ability to cover for one another in the event of an illness or emergency.

Telecommunicating:
Telecommuting is considered to be one of the fastest-growing arrangements for alternative work. Staying in touch via computer and phone allows an employee to stay connected to the office from the comfort of her own home.

Stay-at-home Dads:
Becoming more common, some husbands are choosing to stay at home with their children while their wives return to the workforce.  If a wife earns more than her husband, can receive more benefits, or enjoys her job immensely, she has the ability to decide if she wants to return to the work environment while her husband cares for the children.

Self-employment:
Mothers who want to work for themselves according to their own limitations, boundaries and interests choose self-employment. This arrangement has been found to have employed a wide set of skills, and includes various employment backgrounds, such as crafts and cooking to tax law, writing or consulting.

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