Parenting is a full-time job. Moms and dads will tell you it requires every bit of time, energy, and wisdom they can muster to help their children grow into happy, productive adults. The situation becomes even more difficult when moms and dads have to juggle both parenting responsibilities and a “day job” that pays the bills.
As we recognize National Working Parents Day on September 16, it’s a good time to honor the people who are successfully navigating that balancing act every day and to remember how providing work flexibility for parents can help them in their efforts.
For example, every parent knows that children introduce busy schedules and unexpected events to life. You never know when they’re going to get sick or injured, and their participation in sports, music, theater, and other activities is sure to fill your calendar with planned events you want to attend.
If your job requires you to be in a cubicle from 9-to-5 every day, with no exceptions, managing such a family schedule becomes almost impossible. However, if you work for a company that offers some flexibility, you may be able to work from home occasionally when you need to care for a sick child. Or perhaps you can shift your hours earlier so you can leave in time for an afternoon game or concert. Flex can make the scheduling aspect of parenthood so much easier.
It also helps improve parents’ work-life balance in general, and it can allow them to avoid complications related to child care and education. That’s good for them and their children, according to a Fox Business article.
“Good and affordable alternatives for child care when parents have to work aren’t easy to find,” the article says. “More parental involvement in their children’s education and development is going to require flexible and creative work arrangements that benefit all parties involved.”
The flexibility to excel in one’s career while also giving enough time to family matters alleviates some of the guilt working parents may feel when they’re spending long days at the office. That can lead to happier workers, and happy workers are often more productive.
Flexibility makes it possible for some parents to remain in the workforce when they would otherwise have to leave completely due to caregiving responsibilities. The tech industry provides a good case study in this regard. Many tech companies are known for their flexibility, which allows mothers, in particular, to stay on their payrolls.
Many companies are eager to allow that flexibility, because they know a workforce that includes more gender diversity can boost the bottom line, according to a Skillcrush article.
“Whether it’s tech companies like Amazon, GitHub, and Adobe offering some of their roles as entirely work-from-home positions, Google and Cisco following Patagonia’s lead and offering on-site or near-site childcare, or Asana, Dropbox, and Dell offering hybrids of in-office and off-site work schedules, forward-thinking tech companies understand that workforce innovations are just as critical as product innovations,” the article says.
That’s the real beauty of offering flex to working parents. Not only does it allow them to be happier and more productive while building balanced lives, but it also boosts their companies’ success in a variety of ways.
When everybody wins in a business transaction, it can be a life-changing experience for all involved. That’s what work flexibility can do, and that’s why it should be remembered on National Working Parents Day.
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