Friday, March 30, 2007

Workplace Lactation Programs

Successful lactation programs can increase productivity among mothers of infants, ensure that members of the female workforce return to work after a successful pregnancy and establishment of breastfeeding, and foster a family friendly environment. In addition, lactation programs that allow working mothers to breastfeed longer can vastly improve infants' health thereby decreasing absenteeism of mothers taking time off to care for sick infants and the cost of health care claims for infants.

Components of a successful lactation program include:
  • Access to a private, calming space to express milk. This could be an unused office or a designated mother's room. The room should lock from the inside, have a comfortable place to pump with access to an electric outlet, and a sink.
  • Time for moms to express breast milk. Most mothers working an 8 hour day will require three 15 minute breaks. Breastfeeding mothers should pump or breastfeed approximately every 2 to 4 hours.
  • Ideally, breastfeeding mothers will have access to their own refrigerator space to store breastmilk, although refrigeration or separation of breastmilk from other refrigerated foods is not always necessary.
Additionally, some employers are able to provide employees access to lactation consultants, either through the company's health insurance provider or through a company sponsored Employee Assistance Program. Other companies may provide employees with discounts on commercial grade breast pumps that can otherwise run over $300 or provide a hospital grade pump to be shared by multiple mothers who provide their own accessories, including tubing and breast shields.

Lactation programs can be virtually cost free to an employer who simply allows mothers the time and space required to express breast milk. The number of employers providing lactation programs is rising to as much as 20% of companies.

Eleven states (California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington) have laws protecting a woman's right to breastfeed and pump in the workpalce. Visit the National Conference of State Legislatures: 50 States Summary of Breastfeeding Laws to view legislation in your home state regarding breastfeeding in the workplace.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Flexibility Options

Permanent Part-Time:
Simple, this is a part-time job for a permanent assignment occasionally with benefits but always without the 40 hour work week.

Flexible Schedule:
Flexible schedules can be established up on a daily or a permanent basis. Daily flex hours affords employees flexibility each day to adjust their start and ending times as needed, usually around set core hours. For example, if core hours are 10am to 3pm, an employee could work 6am to 3pm or 10am to 7pm.

Job Sharing:

Two people sharing one job whose combined work hours equal 40 hours per week. There are essentially two ways to do job sharing.
1) each person is equally qualified and responsible for the job doing the same duties as their counterpart ensuring complete coverage
2) each person is uniquely qualified for the job taking on different duties as their counterpart. The idea here is that the sum is greater than the whole.

Working from a home office or remote location some or all hours of a traditional work week.

Contract Work:
Includes temporary positions accepted at the discretion of the contract employee. Pay is usually higher because employers reduce the overhead required by a long-term employee and the schedule is flexible based on the contract employees own limitations.

Condensed Work Week:
Total work hours will equal 40 hours per week however, the employee will work fewer but longer days. For example, an employee may work four 10 hour days with three days off during the week instead of the traditional two day weekend.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Career and Business Advising Services

Services for Employees seeking greater flexibility and balance:
  • Resume writing or resume updates
  • Proposal writing for a new flexible schedule
  • Career mapping
  • Facilitation of support groups or networking groups
Services for Employers seeking to establish a culture of flexibility:
  • Job postings
  • Business listings
  • Design of Mother's Room
Please contact me at

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Shop Flexible Workforce Merchandise

Flexible Workforce merchandise can be purchased through our CafePress store including customized clothing and accessories.

Our Flexible Workforce storefront offers selected reading material on the following topics:

Work Life Balance
Flexible Work
Job Seeking
Work at Home Moms
Working Parents

Flex Work Discussion Forum

Join the Flex Work Discussion Forum to discuss flexible scheduling options with others or to ask questions about making flex scheduling work for you.

Discuss Flexible Work

Return to Work Gift Packs

Flexible Workforce is committed to supporting mothers in their exploration of working motherhood. Return to Work Gift Packs are distributed to working mothers returning to the workplace after a period of staying home with a new child. Gift packs serve to uplift mom's mood, nurture the mother and child bond, and educate moms about resources and tools available.

Be a part of this effort to support new moms returning to work by contributing your business card, promotional material, coupons, or free samples highlighting products, resources, and services indispensable to working mothers. Sample gift packs include hotline and support group contact information, child care resources, coupons and calendars for mommy and me classes, nutritional bars and shakes, etc.

For more information about how to contribute to our Return to Work Gift Packs, please contact Amy at or visit the Return to Work Project.

Promote Your Business or Website

I love to help support those who have made the leap to start a home based business and achieve their own ideal schedule. If you have a small business that offers flexible scheduling or family friendly benefits, or provide services to support working mothers or flex workers, send me an email at and I will feature you in an upcoming post. Please add a link to my website on your own.

Another great way to promote your business is to make a contribution to our Return to Work Gift Packs. These gift packs distributed to new moms returning to work after staying home with a new child highlight services, resources, and products that make working motherhood easier. Include your business card, promotional materials, coupons, or free samples for a bit of community service and free advertising. Contact me at for more information about how to contribute.


When Work Works

Resources for Working Parents:

Blue Suit Mom

Five Minutes for Mom

Jobs and Moms Job Postings

Solutions for Busy Moms

Work and Pump: Breastfeeding for Working Mothers

Flexibility in the News

Fewer Mothers Prefer Full-Time Work - Pew Research

The Opt-Out Revolution - The New York Times

Return to work not easy for stay-at-home dads

Stop coming to work and save the planet

About Flexible Workforce

About Flexible Workforce:

About the Author:
I am a full-time recruiter and a mom of two small boys. While I was once able to stay home with my sons, our family budget no longer allows me to not work. I understand that many want to or need to work; but no one should need to sacrifice their family or personal life in order to work. I believe the entire corporate environment should be much more family-friendly and I hope to be able to inspire parents and employers to secure alternative options that allow for a healthy balance of career and family. I welcome your comments about the website and experiences in the working world. Your input will only help me to provide more practical solutions to working parents and family-friendly employers.
You are free to share, copy, and distribute the content of this page.
Please, always attribute this work to its original author at Flexible Workforce. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page.
You may not use this information for commercial gain or alter, transform, or add to this work in any way.

Flexible Workforce Solutions
State College, PA