Working and parenting at the same time has never been an easy feat. With work demanding more time than ever and spilling over into home life via messaging and other electronic communications, it is sometimes difficult to separate work from life. To create a sustainable workplace culture and to attract the top tier employees, it is important for companies to beginning looking into how they can make life easier for employees with children.
Offering Paid Parental Leave
When babies are born, it is a very important time for the family to form bonds and figure out their new system. Offering paid parental leave is becoming standard among many large companies and can be invaluable for new families. While mothers generally need longer leaves of absence in order to get used to feeding and to recover from delivery, it is becoming standard to offer fathers a few weeks of paid parental leave, as well.
Scheduling with Flexibility
Parents often need a little more flexibility in their schedules than non-parents. Illnesses, school days off, and other obligations may crop up and get in the way of work. By scheduling flexibly, employers show employees that they care and they also help to ease workers’ minds so that they can be fully focused and committed while on the job.
In addition to scheduling with flexibility when events pop up in parents’ lives, employers can work to anticipate certain scheduling conflicts in advance and take steps to mitigate issues. Children of school age will invariably have nights and weekends off, so it makes sense to schedule parents to be available for these times so that they do not have to waste their energy and time making arrangements. Working with parents to create an ideal schedule often works out in everyone’s best interests.
Consider Instituting Split Shifts
A growing trend among some companies is the split shift. Employees that work split shifts come in during the morning and work through the early afternoon, then pick children up and spend a few hours with the family eating dinner, assisting with school work, and putting the children to bed. After the children have gone to sleep, they log a few hours finishing up work so that their time is best prioritized among all of the important things in their lives.
Allowing Remote Work When Possible
If your company can allow remote work to some degree or another, it may be very helpful for the employees that are parents in your company at times. Allowing your employees to work remotely when their children are sick or when a snow day is called can help you to stay on track with deadlines, can prevent your employee from having to take a sick day, and can show that you care enough to work with them.
Assisting with Childcare
Depending on the structure of the workplace, some companies have found that it makes sense to offer assistance with childcare in one form or another. This may mean allowing employees to bring their children to work, if the workplace is not dangerous. This may also mean offering benefits to assist with the costs of child care.