business world, more professionals are juggling their family and work
lives, and both men and women are making work/life balance a major
determining factor when looking for a job. Whether you're a mom or
dad, if you are seeking a new job and want to make sure you find a
company that is family friendly, here are six traits to look for in
a future employer.
1. A formal philosophy regarding work/life balance.
Look carefully at company materials, including brochures, annual
reports and web sites. Does the company talk about its work/life
balance initiatives? Can you see signs of policies in the company
that were developed to support working parents?
2. An acceptance of flextime and other alternative work arrangements.
Companies today are learning that good work does not just happen
from 9 to 5. Many businesses have begun adjusting work schedules
to make life easier for working parents. Alternative work arrangements
include job sharing, telecommuting, part-time options and flexible
3. Childcare options.
Many companies have moved toward providing assistance to parents
when it comes to daily childcare. Some companies offer on-site daycare.
Other companies provide referral services to help employees find
adequate child care providers and dependent care reimbursement accounts,
which enable employees to put away money from each paycheck - pre-taxes
- in order to pay for child care expenses.
4. Other family friendly benefits.
Many companies have begun offering employees adoption assistance
and other unique benefits geared toward families. For example, paid
paternity leave for fathers or reimbursement of adoption expenses
up to $5,000. Employees may have the option of taking a sabbatical
to "recharge their batteries," with benefits and partial pay. Some
companies offer additional benefits to help working parents get
errands done during the day, such as on-site banking and dry cleaning.
5. Women in executive and managerial positions.
You can tell a lot about a company by its numbers of women in upper
management roles. Is it made up entirely of men? While this is not
a sure sign that the company is not family friendly, it should cause
you to take a closer look at the programs implemented to support
working mothers. Some companies have made it possible for women
juggling a career and family to succeed through mentoring and advancement
6. Training for employees in the area of work/life balance.
Companies that have a true commitment to work/life balance make
sure their employees share that commitment. Some companies have
begun implementing this topic of into their training programs. Working
Mother says that Prudential Financial Inc. trains its managers on
work/life and flexibility, and holds them accountable for ensuring
employees are given options and support to succeed.
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