Friday, June 15, 2012
Is work keeping new dads from maximizing their paternity leave? Two-in-five working dads (43 percent) who had a child in the last three years reported they didn't take any paternity leave.
For those working dads who took some, but not the full allotted time off, 47 percent said they felt pressured by work to come back early. Of those who took some paternity leave, 59 percent took one week or less. This is according to CareerBuilder's annual Father's Day survey, conducted February 9 to March 2, 2012, among 729 full-time, working fathers with children 18 and under who are living with them.
Across various categories, the stress of prolonged economic uncertainty post-recession appears to have affected more working fathers' balance between professional and family life.
Bringing work home – More than one-third of working dads (36 percent) reported they bring home work from the office, up from 27 percent in 2008.
Likelihood of being a stay-at-home dad – Thirty-five percent of working dads said, if their spouse or partner made enough money to support the family, they would consider trading their careers for a role of staying home with the kids – down from 37 percent in 2008.
Willingness to take pay cut – While working dads want to spend more time with their families, the number of dads willing to take a pay cut to do so dropped since the recession. Thirty-three percent of working dads reported they would take a pay cut if it meant they have more quality time at home, down from 37 percent in 2008.
The survey found that 22 percent of fathers say their work has negatively affected relationships with their children and 26 percent said work negatively affected relationships with significant others. To help achieve a better work-life balance, Alex Green, general counsel for CareerBuilder and father of three, recommends the following:
Talk about it. Remember that communication is a two-way street. Besides just listening to what is going on in your family's lives, talk about what is going on in your office, so everyone understands why you are away or have to do some work when you are home.
Scheduling is key to success. Add every family member's schedule to one master calendar so there are no surprises. Also, save vacation days for important events and talk to your supervisor about flexible work arrangements.
Establish a "no work" zone. Put down your BlackBerry and avoid checking emails from the time you arrive home until after your children have gone to sleep.
Consider flexible work arrangements. More companies are offering telecommuting options, flexible hours, condensed work weeks and other arrangements. Approach your boss with a game plan of how the new arrangement would work and how it can ultimately benefit the organization.
It’s ok to say no! In addition to actual work, sometimes activities associated with your job can take a toll on your free time. Determine what additional activities you can turn down and which are necessary so that you can free up more of your time outside of the office.
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