According to governmental statistics, more women entering the workforce in the US has not meant that dads get to spend more time off. Although stay-at-home dads have increased by 14% since the 70s, the average work week has in fact increased by 26% for men, which is believed to be a major cause for heart-related illnesses.
So, are things gonna get better for dad anytime soon? The statistics are starting to point to a change in recent years. COVID-19 hit many companies hard and after going completely online to adapt to lockdown regulations, many have made more permanent adjustments to a more flexible work schedule. Let’s check out how dads can not only negotiate more flexible schedules but also make that time at home count.
1. Work from home
Even after things have started opening up again after the pandemic, many employers are recognizing the benefits of working from home and are introducing more flexible office hours. Afterall, we are living in the digital age – the vast majority of office jobs can be completed in the comfort of our home and commute time be spent more productively.
Not only does a hybrid work from home and in an office boost overall morale and productivity, many companies are finding it can also lower overhead costs. Fewer people in the office means lower electricity and water bills. If you’re looking for a new job, look for companies that embrace this practice. Once you get more work from home days approved, you can save time on commuting and use it instead to spend quality time with your family.
2. Flexible schedules
Does your job have to be a nine-to-five thing? There are a lot of jobs that offer different shifts. If you worked from 11 a.m.–7 p.m., would that allow you to get the kids off to school while your spouse heads off to work? Sometimes the difference of an hour or two can help you and your spouse create a better work-life balance together and help cut down on daycare costs.
Some companies also offer variations on the standard five-day work week. Would you want to work four 10-hour days and have every Friday off? This kind of schedule can help you spend quality time with your kids on long weekends and make for a consistent day to do those afternoon tasks, like taking them to the dentist. Countries like Iceland have tested and shown the benefits of working on a flexible work schedule: now, more than 85% of the country works on a 4-day, 8 hour-a-day work week.
3. Paternity leave
This is a difficult one, but for younger men, it can be a game-changer. The first few months of a child’s life are a crucial bonding time for parents that can establish roles for the future.
As of 2015, only 17 percent of companies offered paid paternity leave, a key contributor to work-life balance for men and new dads. The good news is that number is on the rise; the bad news is that it still means over 80 percent of American companies do not offer dads the opportunity to spend those first weeks at home with their children.
4. Quality home time
The best thing you can do otherwise is make sure that the time you’re spending at home is quality time. Or better yet, to limit passive screen-time, why not find shared reading exercises with your kids that also improves their literacy?
P.S. you may want to get your kids a Jooki to help you spend quality time with them. Jooki plays nursery rhymes and audiobooks from Spotify, with no screen in sight. To find out more, visit our homepage.