Despite working parents making up for 1/3 of the workforce (approximately 11 million), work is still designed, organised and advertised to prevent people with caring responsibilities from reaching their potential.
As a Mum to a 1 year old and step-mum to an 11 year old, I’m all too familiar with the juggle of parenthood with my professional life, but count my lucky stars to have the flexibility and freedom of running my own business around my family commitments. Many of my friends haven’t been so lucky and it’s been eye-opening and utterly disheartening to watch their requests for flexible working and family-friendly hours turned down. With stats such as these, it shows they’re not alone:
- More than 1 in 10 parents have refused a new job and 1 in 10 have said no to a promotion because of a lack of good work life balance opportunities.
- Parents are working far beyond their contracted hours, fuelled by burgeoning workloads and an unsupportive organisational culture.
- For nearly half of parents and carers, work affects their ability to spend time together as a family; and 1/3 of parents feel burnt out all or most of the time.
- Nearly 9/10 people in the UK want to work flexibly – but currently just over one in ten jobs is advertised flexibly.
- Excessive working hours leads to reductions in productivity, but flexibility pays dividends in terms of employee engagement, motivation and loyalty
Run by Working Families, the UK’s work life charity, Work Life Week aims to promote a family friendly and flexible working culture, encouraging employers to run workshops, events, share examples of successful flexible working, or simply start to get some best practice and family friendly policies in place.
You can find more ideas on ‘top tips for employers’ pdf here, and if you’re interested in running some workshops around flexibly working and supporting working parents, we offer a couple of workshops that do exactly that.
Working Smarter & Flexibly Thriving aims to educate and empower employees with tools and strategies to perform at their very best and work smarter, regardless of when and where they are physically working. Find out more here.
Staying Ahead of the Game as a Working Parent addresses the challenges of juggling a career with children and aims to help put an action plan for staying ahead of the game in to place. Find out more here.