By definition, working parents continually juggle their family and professional commitments, often feeling the strain of fulfilling two very separate and time-consuming roles. So, what can employers do help mums, dads and carers who are caught up in what has been described as a “pressure cooker lifestyle”?
Here at Thornhvac we recognise how valuable it can be for some members of our team to have access to flexible working and a level of understanding that makes their lives easier.We proactively advertise roles in our own business as offering what are frequently referred to as “Mums’ hours”, such as our current vacancy for a Recruitment Resourcer.
Working parents appreciate the support they need to fit work in around family life and their children. They also want to earn enough money to support their family. From the employer’s perspective, their flexibility is rewarded with a focus on productivity when the employee is at work.
Flexible working offers advantages for both employers and employees. Working from home for part or all of the week makes it easier for working mums, dads and carers to reduce childcare costs by cutting out commuting time. It also means they can be around for school runs, after-school activities and things like parents evening and other events. Employers often find they are rewarded by a team member who fits their work in outside regular office hours and shows extra dedication and commitment.
Job sharing is another option for employers to consider and this can be made to work for many roles that might not have been considered shareable in the past. It means working parents can still achieve their career goals but with less hours, and more time to spend at home with the kids. This is a great compromise for the employer, as they will still have enough coverage for the role and often gain the added bonus of an extra employee for holiday and sickness cover.
The four-day working week is another growing aspect of flexible working which is popular with working mums and dads Many parents prefer to fit full-time working hours into four days a week so that they can have a full day off each week to dedicate to childcare and family life. This can help significantly with childcare costs and co-parenting arrangements.
Working parents value being able to earn enough money to manage their household expenses. Employers can support and attract working parents by offering incentives such as subsidised childcare, childcare vouchers, parental leave and good maternity/paternity policies.
Working mums and dads will value having the necessary support from both colleagues and employers to make their lives easier. The same applies to any employee who is accessing tailored working hours to meet the health, wellbeing or care needs of themselves or a dependent relative. This supportive environment can be achieved by instilling a culture of equality and respect for those whose working patterns have been adapted for personal reasons, for example to accommodate family or other care responsibilities.
Working parents are used to performing under pressure and managing their time well. This usually means they make excellent team members who are keen to work hard and repay the commitment and understanding shown by their employer. It is in everyone’s interest that the arrangement works, which means the employee will typically excel during the time they are at work, even if their hours differ from other members of their team. Employers are repaid for their open-minded approach with productivity, dedication and loyalty.