Returning to your original role with reduced hours can seem like the perfect solution when coming back from maternity leave. You know the role and you and you get more time with your kids. If this is your ideal then get the ball rolling with these guidelines to make sure it’s approached and set up in a way that benefits everyone involved.
Discuss the expectations
If you are looking at working reduced hours you will not be able to produce the same output so discuss this with your workplace so you are all on the same page.
Set your boundaries
Be clear with your workplace, boss, and team around your boundaries regarding regular hours, overtime, business trips, and working from home. There are always the odd occasions or special circumstances that might require you to work outside of your usual hours so have a back up plan on how to cope with that before you start back.
Working from home
This can give you added flexibility but with the odd sick-kid day as an exception, you will most likely still need some form of childcare to enable you to do this effectively, particularly as your baby heads towards the toddler and pre-school years. Be aware of the equipment you would require and discuss any processes or protocols they may have for such circumstances.
Its important to know what your boundaries are for your return to work but equally important to be open to discussion and compromise. Your workplace still has responsibilities and expectations they need to fulfil and they may have some alternative solutions that could work for both of you so keep communicating.
Try and maintain clear lines of communication with your workplace around your return, and any discussions you may have about it. It’s a good idea to create a paper trail of any meetings, conversations or phone calls by sending a quick foillow up email along the lines of “Thanks for your time today, based on our conversation I understand that ……..” In addition to creating a reccord of your interaction and any outcomes, it also provides a forum for the other party to clarify any points raised.
For more guidance on planning your return to work see what’s on offer here