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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Flexibility is What Working Parents Desire
Balancing work and family life can be quite the challenge. Add a social life in the mix and you’ve got yourself one overly busy schedule to deal with most days.
Does that busy schedule affect working moms or working dads more? A survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Adecco USA may shed some light on that. The survey polled 223 employed men and 272 employed women who have at least one child.
Some of the results are as follows:
• 50% of women and 29% of men believe it is easier for dads to maintain a balance between work and family life.
• Almost half of moms and 32% of dads said they devote equal time to work and family.
• 59% of men would not take paternity leave, even if given the opportunity by their employer. 46% believe they could not afford to take paternity leave.
• 37% of full-time employed men said they would quit their jobs and be stay-at-home dads if their income was not necessary to support their family.
• Nearly 75% of all those polled said that the opportunity to work flexible hours would be the most appealing employee benefit for working parents.
So, what does this tell us? Well, it certainly let’s employers know that their employees would probably be much more bearable at work if their stress levels were relieved just a bit by allowing them to work more flexible hours.
For example, the law firm I work for is fairly small — 5 attorneys and 6 secretaries. And one of the best things about this place is the fact that the attorneys are willing to allow us to take time off early for children’s ball games, or in the middle of the day for doctor’s appointments, or even an extended lunch to run a couple necessary errands. We simply have to make up the lost time by coming in earlier, staying later or taking shorter lunches on various days leading up to and following the time we take off. This process is in addition to the vacation and sick leave we are already allotted. It really makes all the difference in the world.
So, if you’re a business owner, consider being more flexible and willing with your employees, especially those with children. Clearly you should establish policies that would keep them from taken advantage of your generosity, but I can guarantee that easing up a bit would really improve the working environment of your company.
As Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer at Adecco, puts it, “Measure [your employee’s] performance by output, not by time in the office.” If the work is getting done, that’s really all that matters.
• Inc.com: Working Moms and Dads Clash on Work-Life Balance
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