The Office for National Statistics suggests that around 500,000 women want to work but are unable to find employment that fits around family life. Finding a job that allows for the school drop off and pick up can be difficult and if a woman’s current employer is not sympathetic to her needs she may find she has to leave her current role.

In fact a study in 2009 found that many women in part-time roles were over-qualified, leaving their full-time profession to take part-time work elsewhere which better suited family life.

Ask any working mum and they will tell you that balancing work and home life is an extremely hard juggling act. The school run, doctors’ appointments, teacher meetings and the daily commute all conspire to make a day at the office very stressful.

From April 2009 parents have had the legal right to request flexible working, this means employees are able to request a change to the hours they work and to be able to request to work from home. While employers do not have to agree to the request they do have to give it serious consideration and have genuine business reasons for refusing it.

Allowing flexible working can benefit both employee and employer. For the employee they avoid the hassle of the daily commute, are able to work with fewer disruptions and can adapt the working day if necessary to fit in with appointments etc. For the employer, allowing a member of staff to change their working life can help them retain experienced staff, particularly women who often feel they have to make a choice between career and family. Flexible working also promotes a sense of goodwill and loyalty amongst staff.

If you are looking to work more flexibly prepare a list of the main reasons and the benefits working from home will have. Think about any barriers your employer may have and try to address these up front when in discussion with your employer.

If agreed, you’ll need a place to work and for many people the spare room or dining room table doubles has a home office. While fine in the short term, if working from home is going to work in the long term you’ll need a designated area which allows you to fully focus on the tasks at hand. Here at Green Studios we are experts in the design and build of garden offices. These purpose built rooms, which can be used year-round, can be built into virtually any garden space. Our robust garden rooms are fully insulated and fitted with electrics, the rooms can be used for any purpose but are often used as office spaces. For more details call Green Studios on 0800 334 5570