Is a Flexible Schedule a Possible Parenting Solution?

written by Fred Campos
Is a Flexible Schedule a Possible Parenting Solution?

[D]ue to your divorce, your personal schedule has changed, changes that will disrupt your work schedule. You begin updating your resume, in search of a new job.

But should you?

Before typing out that resignation letter, see if your company will work with you. With corporations becoming more family-friendly in recent years, an organization, especially to keep a good employee, will make accommodations of mutual benefit to both parties.

Is Flex-Time a Possible Parenting Solution?

While we traditionally think of such work adjustments applying to part-time jobs, they can also be adapted for full-time employment. Before you leave a job, talk with your employer and see if the company can work around your personal conflicts. Ask for flex work. Hours that don’t fall under the traditional 9-5 work day can be considered flexible. And several options fall under this category:

  • Work from home either full or part-time (also called telecommuting). This will not only help increase time with your family, but can save some money on gas, commuting time, and maybe even lunches, since you will now probably eat at home instead of going out.
  • Compressed work week (working 10 hours a day, four hours a week). If they agree, ask if you can pick the days. Depending on what else is happening with your family, the off day could change from week to week. And you might even push one to a weekend day, if needed.

Could You Get More Done During Hours without Interruptions?

  • Adjusting your hours to start work either earlier or later. For example 8-4 instead of 9-5. That can help
    specifically after-school activities or early dismissal days.
  • Build a bank of *‘flex days’* you can use for emergencies. You should not only track your flex hours for your benefit, but keep your supervisor updated on them, so there’s no confusion when you decide to cash them in.
  • Job share with another employee—each one working part-time. A tough choice due to income loss.

[tweet “Custody Tip: Convert overtime into flex days and bank it as comp days.”]

  • Convert overtime into flex days. If you frequently work overtime without pay, speak to your supervisor about converting those overtime hours to comp days you can use as needed.

Ultimately, the match between employee and employer must work for both parties, or the modified schedule won’t work. The important part of this is to not leave your job just because of personal issues. If you are a good employee, you will be difficult to replace, and hiring someone always costs in training and on-the-job mistakes. Talk with your boss, see what you can work out.

How has a flexible job helped you in your custody case? What have you found, are employers assisting in this area?

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