More Dads are working from home and research findings are positive
Father’s Day has taken on something of a poignant note in this pandemic year – and represents a moment of reflection on new ways of working.
Many fathers have had their lives turned upside down. For a vast majority, lockdown meant they were suddenly working from home. And with that came a whole new set of challenges and experiences.
Australians have been both separated and brought together as never before. That sense of ‘We’re all in this together’, on a macro level, means as a country or a community. But in our homes, it has resulted in a sharp refocusing on family.
The stay-at-home Dad has traditionally been something of a rarity. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), parents’ employment remains very gendered, with fathers far more likely to be working full-time than mothers. From 1991 to 2016, the number of mothers in paid employment increased. But despite changing attitudes to parental roles, the percentage of stay-at-home dads (3–4%) had barely changed since 1991. Until now.
Fathers have been able to spend significantly more time with their partners and children. An American Time Use Survey (ATUS) discovered that telecommuting dads took on 67 more minutes of childcare than on non-work-from-home days. They’ve really ‘stepped up’: not only doing their regular work via Zoom or online, but often helping their partners with the housework and the kids with their remote learning.
For many men, it’s been a form of awakening – an unexpected and yet not entirely unwelcome realisation of how things could be, going forward.
Will Covid-19 change our views about work forever? After all – surely it’s what we do, rather than where we do it?
Dads@home – and loving it
Research suggests most fathers have enjoyed this hiatus from their ‘normal’ work life. A recent report by McKinsey and Company found that, of the population of fathers working at home, 79.4 percent reported positive work effectiveness, with 63.2 percent feeling engaged and 70.5 percent saying they had a positive state of well-being.
And why not? Instead of rushing out the door in the morning, they were able to have breakfast with their kids. The hectic hour-long commute was gone. And rather than attending meetings, Dads were (while still getting through their regular workload) sitting beside their kids, helping them with their schoolwork, being involved in household activities – in other words, really engaging.
We all know that time spent with each other is the most precious commodity of all. No amount of money, no measure of professional success, can compare with the sheer joy brought about by human relationships; of precious quiet hours spent together, of shared laughter, of meals around a family table.
(At the same time, we recognise that some families have sadly and unwillingly been separated, and that some Dads have missed out on the special family time we’re talking about.)
Say thanks with something Dad and his family can do together
For those of us who’ve spent the past few months enjoying the company of our beloved Dads, Father’s Day represents a time to cement this sentiment – to give a heartfelt ‘Thanks’ and to pause and recognise just how special this time of enforced togetherness really has been.
At RedBalloon for Business, we’ve always been about connection – between big business and small, city and country, employer and employee. And now we recognise a new connection; the previously separate realms of work and family, enmeshed like never before.
Now especially, we need to make every moment count. On Sunday 6th September, let’s celebrate that special relationship with Dad, and reward him with an experience he can share with his family and never forget.
Whether they’re your staff, customers, or stake holders, the return on value when you give an experience is always worth it.
To find out how RedBalloon for Business can help you connect your clients with small businesses and aid in Australia’s recovery – click here.
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