By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Smith

Working Mother magazine recently came out with their list of the 100 Best Companies. The selections were made based upon the following factors, Parental Leave, Child Care, Flexibility, Health & Wellness and Advancement. Two of the main factors under flexibility were the option to tele-commute and the ability to work a flexible schedule. Among the working mothers I know the ability to work flex time is almost equal in importance to salary. To be a successful employee and a successful mother you have to feel that you are doing a good job in both roles. Flex time greatly increases your odds of accomplishing both.

There are two common ways that employers offer a flexible schedule. Scheduless is when employees work their required hours each week, but it is up to the employee to decide at what point in the day they do that work. Loose scheduling is where there are set work hours, for example 9-4 with a lunch hour. You are required to be at work during those hours but how you get the rest of your daily hours in is up to you. Tele-commuting is when you are able to work from home or any other convenient location.

A flexible schedule is not only important to working mothers, but working fathers and most importantly single parents. No one wants to be ill prepared for a big work meeting nor do they want to miss their child’s performance in a school play. Flex time allows employees to figure out how to do both.

As a society and a community it is in our best interest to work together to accomplish a good work life balance.The topic is so important it was even mentioned in the presidential debates. Some employers may need encouragement to see how increased flexibility for employees affects their bottom line. Although flexible schedules area relatively new concept in the corporate world, there is a long standing statistic that the more satisfied an employee is in their job the harder they work and the more committed they are to their jobs. Isn’t that more important than everyone being at work during the same hours of 8-5?

Do you work a flexible schedule? Give your company a shout out and let other moms know that it is a great place to work. Are there other benefits that your company offers that allows you to be the best employee and mother that you can be?Tell us about them.