How Employers Can Support Working Fathers
As an employer, it’s often difficult to get the right balance with employees, maintaining a formal working relationship while being empathetic to home life. Although over the years this has been a far more common consideration for working mothers, increasingly fathers are wishing that they too could be more involved in their children’s lives. We considered the best ways employers could lend support to their working fathers.
Employees are often at the office more than they spend time with their families, but how much do their employers really know about the home lives of the people that they work with? Take an interest and stay up to date with developments, so that you can plan ahead should there be a need for some additional time off due to family needs. If you do, this can also encourage your employee to be more honest with you about their needs, allowing them to feel more relaxed about their balancing act.
Digital advances in communication and productivity mean remote working if something comes up at home is not the challenge it used to be. Staying in touch by email and apps, even conducting meetings via conference call – if implemented correctly these will have no negative impact on the contribution an employee can make. It helps to make everyone in the office aware of the continued contact they have with their colleagues through technology, so that there is no question of a lack of commitment just because someone might not be at their desk.
Providing the option to work flexibly for those employees that are eligible will help to ease the strain your working parents experience, particularly those with long hours who might miss most of the daily interaction with young children. Crucially, it could actually be beneficial for the company. If your employee would rather come in early or stay late, this means your company can increase its hours it can be present for clients or activities, and demonstrate the same flexibility in turn for them.
Paul Buchan, Senior Consultant with Eden Scott, gave us his thoughts on the support employers can give to working fathers.
Being a working father is one of life’s blessings in that I genuinely think we get the best of both worlds. We get to play an active role in the lives of our children, but we also get to enjoy an active work and social life. Looking after children (my son just turned one) is very demanding and exhausting - I must admit that on Sunday evenings I am absolutely delighted I have a job to go to! What I mean by that is that I have a very active, balanced and rewarding lifestyle and, of course, a beautiful baby boy. Eden Scott have been very supportive; giving me time off where needed and allowing me the opportunity to balance the demands of work and home-life (being able to work from home is a privilege that you won’t find in many other recruitment companies!). Every day I work with people who know exactly what I mean when I am moaning about how tired I am! Flexibility is the key and thankfully my employers are very accommodating on the rare occasions I need them to be.
Do you have an opinion on how employers can support working fathers? Share them in the comment section below.