I recently read the Working Parents and Carers Flexible Working Survey 2011 by My Family Care and was interested to discover that the findings of the survey revealed that 60% of working parents and carers are not happy with their work-life balance based on their current working pattern. Flexible working was identified as a key issue within the survey, positively linking with work-life balance happiness, loyalty and productivity.
The survey goes on to provide insights for employers on how to get it right when dealing with the challenges, needs and wants of those who combine work and family. However, what can you do if this relates to you as a working parent?
As a working parent, achieving the best work-life balance for you can be extremely difficult. It can be stressful and place a lot of pressure on your time and energy. If this sounds familiar, start reviewing your existing work-life balance and what you would like to achieve using the following headings to guide you in your thinking:
1. Childcare arrangements – what are the options available to you and how much will it cost?
2. Responsibility – how are you and your partner going to divide your responsibilities?
3. Working hours – what do you consider to be realistic working hours for you
4. Money – how much do you and your partner need to earn?
5. Work – how will any change in your working pattern affect your finances and career progression? Within My Family Care’s survey, concerns were raised that flexibility may negatively affect career progression so this is an important factor to consider.
6. Career – are you in the right job for you? Think about what you would like to achieve within your career path. Are there any other options you would like to consider such as a career change or pursuing self-employment? Feel free to have a look at my free resources to help you.
Once you have considered the best work-life balance for you and your family, work out your next steps for achieving this and start taking action. You may find further assistance from the Working Families website as well as my factsheet setting out my top tips for achieving a work-life balance.
Be one of the 40% of working parents happy with their work-life balance!