Flexible hours/telecommuting ■ ■
Working from home and choosing their hours could help moms like Stacey and Heather balance their work and family responsibilities. More employers offer telecommuting, at least occasionally, than ever before. 44 percent of employers nationally allow some of their employees to telecommute at least some of the time, and 49 percent offer flextime. The combination of telecommuting and flexibility allows parents to take time for their children in a way that a conventional work schedule doesn't allow.
The evidence supporting the benefits of working from home continues to pour in.
- better productivity
- more work-life flexibility
- more job satisfaction
Telecommuting is also cheap. IBM was among the first companies to use technology to allow its employees to work from home. Today, about 40 percent of its work force doesn't have an official office. And Sun Microsystems saves hundreds of millions of dollars per year in real estate costs while its employees work remotely.
Telecommuting benefits workers' families as well. A 2010 Brigham Young University study of IBM employees found that telecommuters' levels of work-family conflicts were much lower than those of their non-telecommuting peers; in fact, when they were given flexible schedules, the telecommuters were able to work 19 hours longer before they noticed work-family conflict. But the study's authors also noted that telecommuting doesn't do much good if it's not paired with flexibility.
If you want to work from home 100% of the time, work-at-home jobs are available, but they can sometimes be hard to find amid all the scams. Most of the tips for avoiding these scams are common sense (if they ask for your credit card number, beware!), but if you're looking for something legitimate, here's one place to start.
_One concept, known as ROWE (which stands for Results-Only Work Environment), abandons the face-time model completely. How would your workplace and family time change if:
ROWE is only one way today's workplaces are moving toward increased flexibility. Regardless of how it plays out, employees are happier when they have more control over their schedules.