All work and no play: National work and family month

By Published On: October 23rd, 2012

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, 80.6% of the workforce had a child under 8. That’s all the proof we need to know that the working family is indeed the backbone of America. So, what better than to have a month dedicated to the communication and celebration of healthy and flexible working environments? It’s National Work and Family Month, which means it’s time to read up on jobs, baby and benefits for you!
Trying to figure out how your job fits into your pregnancy and returning after you’ve given birth can be incredibly large stressors. However, over the past decade the government has been encouraging employers to offer more parent-friendly incentives to their workers. The creation of these work-life programs is helping many people find a balance and aid for any dependents they may care for outside their 9-5. Improving financial status, receiving more paid time off, encouraging telecommuting and fostering a positive company culture are other goals of National Work and Family month.
Currently, only 53% of companies offer any type of flexible work arrangements, despite the fact they would save on average $6,500 for every employee who telecommutes just once a week (saving money is guaranteed to make your boss happy, you get to spend time at home with bambino, and you pocket some extra change from not using daycare! Now that’s what we call a win-win). The only way to really see a substantial increase in work-life benefits is to do the research and start asking.
Be sure to check out this website, which has handy downloadable files, including a flexible work arrangement self questionnaire, a flexible work arrangement request template and The Employee’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act. While it is important that there’s a whole month dedicated to finding the right balance between work and home, it’s also good to remember that this is something to work towards all year long. Twenty-four hours never seems to be a long enough day, but with the right planning and a little help from your employer, you’ll make the most out of those 1,440 minutes.