When Sara Minor wanted to boost the family side of her work-life balance, the 43-year-old mother of three teenagers traded her part-time commuter job for a full-time position – working from home.
Her job as a human resources coordinator for Keeping Your Balance, a payroll, bookkeeping and accounting service, keeps Minor closer to her husband, Matt, and their children while keeping her off the road during rush hour.
“When I finish working between 5:30 and 6, I walk downstairs and start dinner; I don’t walk downstairs to start my one-hour commute home,” Minor told Money Talks News.
The Rocklin, California, parent used to work one day at home and commute 50 miles round trip to a Sacramento office four days a week. She found her unexpectedly good work-from-home job through FlexJobs, a subscription-based online service connecting job seekers with remote and flexible opportunities.
- Public affairs – communication specialist
- Senior director, fundraising
- Staff attorney
- Online associate faculty
- Nurse care manager
- Human resource business partner
- SEC football writers
- Vice president – business development
- American Sign Language adjunct teacher
- Associate creative director
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 7 in 10 women with children younger than 18 participate in the labor force, meaning they are working or seeking work.
Women’s labor force participation rates 1975-2013
“Many mothers have a need or a desire to work professionally while also being more available for their families than traditional jobs have allowed, and telecommuting jobs provide more opportunity to be successful in both of these roles,” said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs.
Telecommuting refers to work you can perform from home, and professional-level telecommuting jobs can offer both full-time or part-time schedules, Fell said.
Minor said she previously worked part-time so she could take her kids, Nicholas, 16, Alexander, 14, and Jenna, 13, to school in the morning and be back in time to pick them up.
“Now I work full-time from home and am actually able to do more,” she said. “If one of them is sick or forgets their lunch, I can pop right over to the school. There’s no “popping right over” from Sacramento. If they have a teacher work day or holidays, I am still here all day with them, not at work 25 miles away getting phone calls about what they’re doing to each other!”
Other advantages she mentioned: “I throw laundry in and unload the dishwasher on my breaks, and if we need a service call or are expecting a package, I’m home! I can even run to the grocery store and back on my lunch hour.”
Besides finding her own job through FlexJobs, Minor says she uses the website to recruit for her company.
“It widens the talent pool exponentially and keeps overhead down, not to mention how many cars it keeps off the roads,” she said.
It’s not only moms who want a better work-life balance, says a survey by EY (formerly Ernst & Young accounting). One-third of full-time workers globally say that managing work and life has become more difficult in the past five years and being able to work flexibly is important to them.
Among its findings:
- Work-life balance is harder: Nearly half of managers globally work more than 40-hour weeks, and 4 in 10 say their hours have increased over the past five years.
- Why people quit: The top five reasons people give are minimal wage growth, lack of opportunity to advance, excessive overtime hours, a work environment that does not encourage teamwork and a boss that doesn’t allow you to work flexibly.
- U.S. millennials see difficulties: Nearly 8 in 10 millennials are almost twice as likely to have a spouse/partner working at least full-time than baby boomers. So more than 1 in 4 millennial parents who are managers say “finding time for me” is their most prevalent challenge, followed by “getting enough sleep” and “managing personal and professional life.”
“FlexJobs found that 92 percent of working parents believe they can be both great employees and great parents,” Fell said. “And we wholeheartedly agree!”
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