According to a new study, employers who offer a flexible work schedule to moms who have returned to their jobs after giving birth helps with employee retention.
Study author Dawn S. Carlson, a professor of management at Baylor University, explains, “When confronted by one or more job demands, a flexible schedule provides working moms with alternatives for meeting those demands while caring for their newborns. When working moms are better able to control their work environment and adapt, work-related stress is less likely to become a family issue.”
I couldn’t agree more. Before I left on maternity leave for my first child, I made an arrangement with my employer to work full time, with two days telecommuting from home. When I had my second child, I was able to arrange a part-time work schedule.
In both instances, it greatly reduced the stress of either being a new mom, or in the case of my second child, having a toddler plus a new baby – plus a job – to juggle.
In short, it was a weight off my shoulders to be able to have flexible working arrangements so that I could have a career and be able to be a good mom to my kids.
Study co-author Merideth J. Ferguson discusses job security, sharing that “Job security heightens motivation and energy, particularly for mothers who are sensitive to the security of their jobs after returning from maternity leave.”
Many women feel the stress of having a child (or children) and having to return to the workplace – it’s not easy, and in many cases, if there’s no flexible option available, women move on to either working from home or becoming a stay at home mom.
I was fortunate to have had both of these scenarios – my employer was able to offer a flexible work arrangement for a number of years, and when the job demands required me to return to working full time while raising two kids, I walked. For five years, I’ve worked as a freelance writer from home, which has had its own challenges, but ultimately works for our family.
I can say without a doubt, for me, having the flexible work arrangement my employer offered was a win-win. I was able to have the best of both worlds, and they were able to maintain a loyal and hard working employee.
I realize it doesn’t work for every type of job, so I consider myself quite lucky.
What type of work arrangement do you have? If you’re a working mom, does your employer offer flexible work schedules? Or are you your own boss?