3 Alternative Work Schedules for Parents

alternative work schedules

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Balancing work and parenthood responsibilities is a common struggle for 81.1% of families in the United States. One way that working parents have found work-life balance is through alternative work schedules.

The workforce has shifted from the traditional 9-to-5 workday as more millennials enter the workforce seeking flexible work. However, millennials aren’t the only demographic that family-friendly employers can attract by offering different types of work schedules.

By offering schedule flexibility, employers help employees personalize their schedules to fit their personal and professional needs.

While the benefits of alternative work schedules are clear, you’ll need to know where to start when creating your work schedule.

Keep reading to learn more about different types of work schedules and how they can best benefit a working parent.

Alternative Work Schedules: Examples for Working Parents


One of the more common types of work schedules that employers might offer is flextime. Generally, flextime benefits allow an employee to choose the hours they work freely.

Companies set guidelines for how an employee chooses this flexible schedule by defining core work hours. Core work hours are when all employees must work. An example of this would be a company that sets its core work hours from 10 am to 2 pm. In this scenario, an employee’s schedule must include these core hours, but they can decide the rest of their schedule.

Flextime can be a favorable option for a working parent who needs to structure their hours around dropping off or picking up their children at school. Two working parents can even split this responsibility, with one parent dropping the children off while the other picks them up. This structure allows one parent to start work later while the other can get to work earlier to accommodate an afternoon pickup schedule.


Working parents may consider shifting their schedules from full-time to part-time schedules.

Typically, a part-time schedule is attractive to working parents because it allows you to work fewer hours a week, and spend more time with your children. For a single parent, part-time work can be the first step towards achieving an appropriate work-life balance.

Nevertheless, you should consider the current responsibilities of your role first. Can you still fulfill those responsibilities with fewer hours in the workweek? You want to ensure you can adequately restructure your role when negotiating a part-time position.

Job Sharing

Job sharing is a flexible work schedule that allows two employees to split the responsibilities of a single full-time role.

This schedule can work well for parents looking for alternatives to part-time work. Job sharing can make it easier for certain positions that don’t offer part-time as an alternative.

Additionally, some positions are unable to restructure responsibilities so that a single person can tackle them on a part-time work schedule. With a job sharing structure, these responsibilities become much more manageable, especially for single working parents.

Employers might be on the fence when it comes to allowing job sharing. However, evidence shows that companies that offered family-friendly policies like job sharing had greater employee productivity. Working parents spent less time stressing about their responsibilities, which allowed them to improve the quality of their work.

Are you looking for a family-friendly work environment to launch your career?

Check out the best employers in Arizona at BestCompaniesAZ and find your dream job today!

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