We often hear about the need for flexible schedules for working moms. When workplaces can accommodate needs like childcare hours, sick days, breastfeeding and other issues related to the life of a working mom, this helps everyone. But what about flexible schedules for dads, too? We now live in an era where fathers are often just as involved in their children’s daily lives as their moms are, and in some cases, even more so. For this Father’s Day, along with celebrating all the wonderful dads out there, let’s also talk about why we should support working fathers as well.
Dads Need Flexible Schedules As Well
In past generations, dads were primary breadwinners and most moms stayed home to raise the children and take care of the home. Today, though, we’re living in a new world: one with dual breadwinners. Roles have changed drastically and we not only have many more women in the workplace, but in many cases, they are also an equal breadwinner, or even the main breadwinner. In Canada, those eligible for parental leave can split this leave between mom and dad, or just let one parent take it all. Having dad take at least some of the leave is becoming increasingly popular. With dads having a much larger role in their children’s lives, we need to be ensuring flexibility is provided to them as well. Things like accommodating work schedules to work around school pick up/drop off, time off to stay home with sick kids, or leaving early for special events. Family-friendly employers often have happier employers who work harder and enjoy being at work. Feeling supported with a healthy work-life balance can be the key to a successful and happy workplace, for everyone.
Supporting Parents Helps Them Succeed
Work flexibility plays a huge role in working parents feeling accommodated, and this also has a direct impact on their success. Feeling supported and having options such as flexible work schedules, a telecommuting option or paid leave not only keeps employees happy but also keeps employees at the company in general. Parents taking time off for the birth of a new child will be much more likely to come back to work, and will often work harder. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, with the workers feeling respected in a nurturing work environment and thus being more productive, invested and loyal employees.
Help Increase Dads’ Involvement
In a recent study, results show that when offered, most dads embrace paternity leave. The benefits can be enormous. Being much more involved in every aspect of their baby’s life has long-lasting effects. It often sets the stage for the future involvement of the father and allows them to feel a closer bond with their child. When employers can support paternity leave and offer flexibility for working dads, they are also helping create fathers who are more involved in their children’s lives.
Along with paid parental leave, flexible schedules for working moms, and support for working moms who are breastfeeding, let’s aim to make our workplaces more family-friendly in general. By expanding the flexibility and policies to include all parents (both moms AND dads) we can ensure everyone feels supported and valued, creating positive, family-friendly work environments.