Hey, it's not just for moms anymore: Dads, too, are looking for a little respect in the work life balance circle, according to a new study from Boston College’s Center for Work and Family.
The study, “The New Dad: Caring, Committed and Conflicted,” examined the roles of fathers as workers and caregivers and found that working dads want a more involved role in caregiving than previously thought. Dads want to excel both as workers and caregivers to their kids, and they view their career and domestic responsibilities in a balanced manner. A bonus: The more time fathers spend with their kids on a typical work day, the more confident they feel as parents.
An eye-opening 75 percent of dads seek more time with their kids. And when asked to rank aspects of being a good father, caregiving attributes such as providing love and support and being involved in a child's life ranked higher than providing discipline and financial security. These changing views on family responsibilities are reflected in the characteristics dads look for in jobs. Job security is overwhelmingly their main concern, but flexible working arrangements also rank high—even higher than good advancement opportunities and high income.
Despite their desires to be more involved at home, dads face challenges in making that happen. They report that work often negatively affects their family lives: Their time at home is more than four times as likely to be interrupted often by work than their time at work is interrupted by family matters. A whopping 96 percent of fathers in the study stated that their supervisors’ expectations of them in their work role stayed the same after the birth of their children. Not surprisingly, most fathers in the U.S. do not take time off after the birth of their children.
Many dads in the study did report using flexible work arrangements, mainly flex hours and telecommuting, but they do so only in an informal manner. Still, almost no dads in the study work reduced hours or part-time.
The findings of the study suggest that companies must recognize work life accommodation beyond being a “mom thing." It's something that affects the majority of all workers, including the guys.
Is your spouse looking for more work life balance? Who has it better, you or him? Share your thoughts in the comments below!