If you find that you’re having to devote more and more hours to caregiving, and are losing time at work, here are some suggestions to try and work out a balance.
Talk to human resources to see if they can accommodate a flexible schedule, or split shifts or compressed hours, for example working more hours in the weekend to balance out the hours you need to be away during the week.
Find out if there’s a way for you to telecommute, allowing you to work some hours at home, or some other location that frees you up for some of the time you need t o be caregiving.
Find out what your employer offers in terms of leave policies. Perhaps you can combine vacation, personal leave and sick leave, or even if they offer caregiving leave.
It’s important to discuss your situation with your supervisor so if you are missing deadlines, or coming late or having to leave early, your supervisor understands why this is happening rather than assuming you are not committed to your job.
One of the best ways to work out a balance is to schedule a one-on-one meeting with your boss to discuss the specific challenges you are facing, and be prepared to offer suggestions as to how they might be overcome. Have a list of alternatives, such as a flexible work schedule and ask for your supervisor’s suggestions as well. If you can come to an agreement on what approach to take, make sure there’s an understanding that things could change in the future, and that you will keep everyone updated as to your being able to perform to their expectations.
As more and more people become caregivers, companies are aware of the tremendous responsibilities necessary in providing care, and are usually very willing to help their employees in finding a way to to juggle work and caregiving.