Work-Life Fit for Dads
According to recent studies, the roles fathers play have shifted. In 2011, there are more dual-career couples, and dads are doing more at home and spending more time with their kids than in previous years. What does this mean for work? Employees who are also fathers have expectations of their organization that have changed dramatically from 5, 10, 20 years ago, and to retain good employees, organizations should take note.
Work environments that are supportive of employees’ family and personal needs are good for employees, which in turn benefits the organization. According to The Boston College Center for Work and Family’s study The New Dad: Caring, Committed and Conflicted:
“A supportive corporate environment that includes a family-supportive culture, supportive managers and supportive co-workers leads to better alignment between work and family, and also leads to more satisfied employees who are less likely to leave the company.”
As Cali Williams Yost, CEO and Founder of Work+Life Fit, Inc. points out, flexibility isn’t just for moms – men and women are equally likely to want it and use it. (Read more results from the 2011 Work+Life Fit Reality Check survey here.)
Despite these trends, it’s not easy for dads. CareerBuilder's annual Father's Day Survey reports that many dads still have difficulty balancing work and family responsibilities – 22 percent work more than 50 hours a week and 39 percent spend two hours or less a day with their kids. Furthermore, 57 percent of dads who responded to the Center for Work and Family’s (CWF) survey reported not being able to get everything done at home because of their job.
Working dads who can count on their employer for flexibility in terms of how, when and where work gets done are happier. The CWF study found that fathers who use flexible work arrangements have higher job satisfaction and are happier with their careers. In this video, CWF Executive Director Brad Harrington expands on these findings:
These changes are positive – fathers are looking to their employer for job security and flexibility. And in return, the benefit to organizations is loyal employees who work hard. For dual-career couples, dads who pick up more housework and childcare help balance the scale for moms as well. Now if that isn’t a reason to celebrate dads this weekend then I don’t know what is! Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there.
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