The pressure of having a career and a family has become a difficult balancing act for most families. In fact, in 2018, 63 percent of family households with children had two working parents. For that reason, perks for new parents have become an important discussion for most companies. If companies are not able to support working parents and encourage a balance between home and work, they may lose out on a significant portion of the work force.
Maternity and paternity leave continue to be critical benefits for parents, but what about when they end? Unfortunately for most people, the end of that leave comes with new challenges in returning to work, finding childcare, and the emotional stress and guilt of dealing with it all. Some organizations are starting to consider allowing and accommodating employees to bring their children to work. And not just for National Bring Your Child to Work Day, but every day. When you start to look at the companies that are already making the change, the truth is there are benefits for both the families and the business.
Benefits for Families
Parents will have lower stress when it comes to daycare and the financial burden that comes with it. They also have the continued security of their career and aren’t asked to choose between raising a child and a job. It can be difficult to hand your child over to daycare or a nanny at such a young age. Parenting at work allows for parents to continue to be bond with their babies while they pursue professional goals.
Some parents may not choose to have their children with them full time, but the flexibility allows them to make the best choice for their family. Returning to work and leaving your baby can force you to make many choices about how to raise your child that don’t align with your values. Bringing your baby to work, offers you options. For example, nursing can be a tough decision for working moms, but having the baby with you during the day can make this a much more feasible option.
Benefits for Business:
When organizations offer parents the options to bring their baby to work there is return for the company. For one, parents may return to work sooner lowering the need for temporary coverage or ensuring that there is not an increased workload on colleagues while the parent is out.
Unfortunately, if parents are not able to juggle both they may have to make the choice to leave. Programs that support families will also improve retention and lower the costs associated with turnover. Giving parents an easier transition back to work, will have a positive impact on morale and productivity. In the long term, it will also become an attractive benefit for potential candidates and could improve talent acquisition.
But companies cannot jump too quickly to this type of program. The main piece of advice from those leading the way is that there needs to be a formal and transparent policy to ensure it runs smoothly so the company and families can reap the benefits. There must be structure on length of time babies can come to work, guidelines for how to handle issues as they arise, and of course stipulations about employee’s productivity and responsibilities being met. One important leader in this area is a nonprofit Parenting in The Workplace. They offer support and resources to assist companies and families move toward a more balanced system.
It is important in the modern workplace for organizations to make family balance a priority. Younger generations continue to demand an improved work life balance and in order to attract and retain talent, companies will have to offer perks that allow for that balance.
This post was written by Tara Klein.
Tara Klein has degrees in Biology and Education from The College of New Jersey. She is currently working in technical sales, but has spent most of her career working and managing in energy and petroleum laboratories. Tara is interested in people – how they think, their development, what motivates them, and how all that affects business and life.
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