Full-time child care is often more expensive than in-state college tuition in over half of the U.S.
So, the gut reaction is for one parent to stay home with the kids.
But that would run you into this problem: it’s more financially taxing, over the term of a career, to leave the workforce to stay home with children, even for a very short period of time.
Rock, meet hard place.
What are parents supposed to do during those “gap years”—the term used for the few years between when a child is born and when they go to school.
Do they go back to work full-time, or take a few years off to stay at home and risk losing steam in their career?
The good news is that there’s actually a third option, one growing in popularity with new parents, one that was considered a “career unicorn” just a few years ago, and it’s through flexible remote work.
Why Flexible Remote Work Is Ideal For Working Parents
Finding a remote job with flexible hours to help you achieve balance during those hectic early parenting years, is not only a reality, it’s the best option.
1. It can help you cut back on childcare costs.
While many people still require some childcare in a flexible or remote position, it normally doesn’t equate to the 10+ hours a day of care that full-time, outside-the-home workers often need.
Having flexible hours in a remote position with young children means you may only need to pay for half-day child care, and then work during nap times or in the evening when children are in bed.
You obviously have to choose a schedule that works best for your family, but the bottom line is that flexible work gives you the room to do that. It also gives you some leeway in your day-to-day life.
Instead of taking vacation time for doctor’s appointments, dentists, school events, etc., you can simply make up those hours when it’s more convenient—no vacation or work time lost!
2. It’s gotten easier to work from home.
Over the past decade, online tools have emerged to make remote work not just a possibility, but more convenient and productive for employees.
Advances in collaborative technology favor remote work. Now, your computer contains your office (and sometimes even your phone).
If you’re not sure if your current management would let you try, why not ask?
If the answer is no, or not a solution that improves your situation, it might be time to spruce up your resume and find a company that meets your needs as well as you meet theirs.
“Once my son Isaac was born, it astounded me how little flexibility my work-from-home real estate position afforded me. I felt like I was chained to my desk, and I was missing out on my little boy growing up even though I was only one room away,” recalled Portia Springer, a Boldly Executive Assistant.
Working for a parent-centric company like Boldly is another way to go if that perfect remote working solution is elusive. Boldly’s clients subscribe to highly talented, fractional team members who work part-time or full-time. Many of these team members are mothers seeking flexibility and work/life balance.
“You can have a career and still have work-life balance,” said Boldly Executive Assistant, Katie Squier. “In fact, it took me a while to realize how much flexibility I had [at Boldly].”
As remote work has become more accepted, there are thousands of open positions.
3. There are more benefits than just your schedule.
The benefits of working from home are nearly endless—from skipping the commute, and having a better work-life balance to reduced costs on gas and eating out.
Job satisfaction and motivation increase due to increased freedom and trust.
“My daughter and I were living in the same home, but I barely knew who she was,” Boldly team member Mara Flores told us. “After a year with Boldly, she told me ‘mom, you’re less stressed now.’ And I felt less stressed!”
Beyond the ability to work from home, fractional positions are on the rise. Fractional and part-time positions let parents work for exactly the hours they want and come with many of the traditional benefits of full-time work.
At Boldly, all part and full-time positions have paid time off, paid vacations, paid parental leave, a matching 401K plan, and more.
4. Get exposure to different industries.
Some of today’s most interesting remote and flexible positions open the door to variety because they involve supporting multiple companies as a virtual executive assistant.
While that might be a new approach, there’s an allure of working on diverse projects, one that keeps remote workers on that path even after the “gap years” are over.
When we interviewed some of our team at Boldly to find out why they chose to work virtually, we were surprised by the response.
The number one answer was the opportunity for continual learning and diversity of work. They were exposed to a variety of clients, industries, and tools.
Whether you’re a new, almost new, or seasoned parent who’s concerned about your options, consider remote work. It’s increasingly common and it’s the answer many parents have been waiting for.
Published on October 19th, 2022