Do you have a flexible work schedule? These days, a growing number of companies are granting workers more leeway in how they accomplish their jobs. In some cases, that flexibility comes in the form of work-from-home arrangements. In other scenarios, it means getting to set your own hours or compress your workweek so you're not at the office every day.
If you've yet to advocate for a flexible work arrangement, you should know that scoring one won't just make your job more convenient and easier to manage. In some cases, that flexibility could translate into actual cost savings. Here's how.
1. You might pay less for child care
Child care is a major burden for working parents nationwide, but the right work setup could help you minimize that cost substantially. Imagine you have school-aged children but pay for before- and after-care to account for the fact that you're at the office eight hours a day. If your manager were to allow you to work from home, you'd potentially get the option to stop paying for that added care, thereby banking that money, instead.
Furthermore, if you're paying for full-time supervision at a day care center (because your child isn't school-aged yet), working from home might enable you to pay for fewer hours. Similarly, condensing your workweek to four days in the office instead of five might help you shave off a full day of child care each week.
2. You might save money on pet care
If you work away from the home and have an animal that needs care during the day, like a dog who must be walked, it's apt to cost you. Similarly, if you have a special-needs animal -- one who requires medication at certain intervals -- you may need to pay for someone to come in and administer those treatments if you're stuck at the office all day long. On the other hand, if you're able to do your job from home, you might whittle down your pet-care costs. And as a bonus, you'll get to spend more time with your furry friend.
3. You might lower your commuting costs
If you live within walking distance of your office, you're probably not paying much or any money to get there. But if you're required to drive to work or take the bus or train, you might save a bundle on commuting costs by working from home on a full-time or even partial basis.
Altering your schedule might save you money on commuting, too. If you typically travel during rush hour and get stuck in traffic, you'll waste fuel idling on the road. But if you tweak your hours to come in earlier or later in the morning and do the same on the way out, you might spend less on gasoline. Similarly, some public-transit systems offer discounts for off-peak travel, so if you're able to switch your hours, you might save some money there, too.
A more flexible work arrangement could help you establish a better outlook and work-life balance. And the fact that you might save some money in the process is yet another reason to push your boss for more leeway.