This is a guest blog post written by Eisha Armstrong, President & Owner of Mom Corps Cincinnati. Mom Corps is a national professional staffing firm that specializes in flexible work options. I’m a big fan of flexible arrangements – I worked 80% and then 60% schedules at P&G after I had my children and now all of our employees at Nourish work with flexible arrangements. Doing so lets us wear the multiple hats we want to wear while keeping our health a priority.
If you’re thinking about going back to work, or about seeking a flexible work option, I hope you’ll follow Mom Corps Cincinnati on Facebook to keep up with their local job opportunities!
When we are running ragged dealing with the kids and work and the dog and whatever else we have on our plates, we tend to lose focus and forget about our own health. It’s natural that as a mom, you tend to put others before yourself. Every mom is guilty of that, but doing so can take a toll on your stress levels and ultimately your overall health.
If you consider all the sources of stress, it’s no surprise that work stress is right near the top of your list. These stresses stem from long hours, heavy workloads, and demands from your boss, colleagues and maybe clients or customers. If you are currently in a job that offers little flexibility and synergy with your role as a working mother, the demands from your job can have a negative effect on your health.
These stresses affect you at all different levels. Physically, work stress can often make you feel burnt out, causing headaches and tiredness. Mentally, extreme workloads both at home and at your job can leave you exhausted and overwhelmed. Socially, the time you are spending working or stressing over working is affecting your relationship with your family and friends.
If you are experiencing this stress in your life, you may want to consider a more flexible work schedule. It is proven that greater flexibility in your job can improve your health. For example, in a recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota, it was found that flexible work options can improve the sleep and overall health and psychological well being of employees.
Flexibility does not have to mean part-time. It can include flextime (the ability to work from 7 am to 4 pm, for example), the ability to telecommute, or even flex career options to ramp up or down as personal obligations change.
Having greater flexibility can help reverse many of the negative symptoms that previous non-flexible jobs caused. Several studies prove that companies that offer flexible work solutions have higher rates of employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention. When employees feel they can balance their work life and home life, the benefits can be seen in reduced health care costs on the employer side and decreased work stress on the employee side.
Being flexible doesn’t simply mean working a part-time position. Flexibility can be defined and utilized in a number of ways. Flexible positions can be considered permanent, temporary, project-based, or even seasonal. That can mean modified workweeks, telecommuting, or simply customized work hours. There are several ways to have a flexible work schedule while still having a fulfilling career.
The good news is that more companies are proactively offering flexible work arrangements to qualified candidates who are seeking greater work-life balance. If your does not, there are many resources available on how to negotiate a flexible work arrangement with your current employer.
Readers, if you currently have a flexible work arrangement, in what ways would you say your health has improved? If you don’t, in what ways do you think you think you could negotiate for more flexibility?