By Sher-li Torrey

In this busy and fast-paced society, we need to remind ourselves that time with our loved ones is irreplaceable. Our children are young only once and our parents are growing older by the day. While our careers are important, we need at some point to re-examine and re-evaluate our priorities and goals in life.


Whatever life stage you may be at, you can make the choice regarding your career to have a more balanced approach or re-enter the workforce at a pace you are comfortable with.


There are various options that you can consider and here are some of them:


Types of flexible work arrangements (FWAs)

These are on a flexi-basis: Time, Location and Period of Commitment.



Core Flex-ChoiceEmployees must be at work at specified ‘core’ times, but other hours are flexi-scheduled by employers
Open Flex-Choice Employees choose the combination of scheduled work hours that total the number of hours required each week
Compressed Work WeekEmployees complete their weekly work hour requirements in fewer than 5 days
Job SharingA full time position is split between 2 co-workers by mutual agreement. Benefits are also given in proportion to the number of hours each person works
Part-Time WorkEmployees take on reduced work hours and pay in a current role
Outcome-Based Schedule (Project basis)Employees are accountable for projects, work assignments, and tasks completed rather than for hours worked or time spent on site. 
Employees work part of the work week at home
(via Telecommunications)
TeleworkingEmployees conduct all work assignments at home
Short-Term Contract Worker
(Less than 1 year)
Employees who are hired to take on a full-time role but for short periods of time (usually 1 month – 11th months only)
FreelancerEmployees hired on a by-need basis
Project BasisEmployees hired to complete a specific project. Contract ends when assignment is completed.
Extracted from “Successful Work-Life Balance” by Sher-li Torrey, Founder, Mums@Work & Co-writer, Ruth Wong.
Before seeking a flexible working arrangement with your employer, there are a few factors that you should consider:

Impact on Finances – Have a realistic breakdown of your financial needs. Not all FWA result in a lower income, although some roles/ arrangement might see a decrease in your monthly salary. Have an honest discussion with your spouse to re-adjust expectations and/or working arrangements.


Impact on Individual’s Career Prospects – Depending on the type of FWA, you might be asked to scale down on your managerial/ supervisory duties. In such situations, you may not be on the same career track as previously. Speak with your supervisor – promotion can sometimes be lateral (new duties). Take a holistic view of your career journey when considering your FWA request.


Impact on Child-Care Arrangement – Having a FWA position does not guarantee that your childcare concerns are fully taken care of. You might still need to seek out a childcare centre and/ or ask for extended family help. However, with a FWA, you are likely to have more options available – if you are given more time or flexibility to rearrange your schedule accordingly.


Impact on your Interaction with Colleagues – Sometimes, certain FWA (such as telecommuting or part-time work) may lead to less interaction time with fellow colleagues. Some FWA workers lament that they are not as close to their team members as before. As an FWA worker, you might want to take the initiative to create more social situations (such as having lunch with colleagues) which allow you to get to know your co-workers better. Putting in the extra effort to ensure you are not “left out” can be beneficial to your self-confidence as well.


Impact on Self-discipline – Many FWA employer-employee relationships work because of a high level of mutual trust. However, in order to earn your supervisor’s trust, you have to display results that indicate self-discipline on your part. Be responsible and be honest – that goes a long way in ensuring a mutually beneficial working relationship between you and your supervisor.


Anyone can achieve work-life integration. Here are some quick tips to get you started: 

• Define your goals at your current life stage
• List priorities and activities for each goal Know when to let go or say ‘no’
• Celebrate little successes
• Take time for yourself and your loved ones
• Accept help


Information extracted from Live iT!


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