Do Your Homework
Wouldn't it be great if everyone could work for one of the 100 best family-friendly companies listed annually by Working Mother magazine? Working parents wouldn't have to worry about who was going to watch the kids when they're too sick for daycare, how to get Jake to his next doctor's appointment, or missing yet another of Lily's school parties. Their companies' family-friendly work policies would alleviate that stress, making for better work and home environments.
Alas, although family-friendly policies make sense for both employer and employee (studies show that such policies save companies money, boost employee retention, and create an all-around happier work environment), they are far from the norm. But this doesn't mean there's no room for negotiation. If you've been thinking that you'd be a better employee, mother, wife, and person if only you had more flexible hours, but aren´t sure how to propose an alternative work arrangement, if you´ve been considering part-time hours or the possibility of sharing your job responsibilities with a co-worker, let the following steps serve as your guide.
Elizabeth Wilcox, author of The Mom Economy: The Mother's Guide to Getting Family-Friendly Work, says research is key and recommends first checking to see if anyone in your company has pursued a similar arrangement to the one you're seeking. If so, talk to them to find out what challenges and hurdles they faced in implementing and managing their arrangements. Research your company's policies, as well as the industry at-large, to determine the most common or viable arrangements in your field.