Employers, don’t be mum about ways to make parents’ productivity pop
An expert gives tips on how companies can reduce the stress of being a parent in a full-time work environment
Working parents have had it rough lately, with waves of disruptions to their children’s schooling, extra-curricular activities and familial support systems. That’s created an opportunity for employers to do more — and reap productivity gains in return, says Daisy Dowling, CEO of Workparent, a consultancy that advises employees and companies in the US. “A lot of us have been running with our hair on fire for a long time, and a huge percentage of parents are thinking of finding a new gig,” Dowling says. Her new book, Workparent: The Complete Guide to Succeeding on the Job, Staying True to Yourself and Raising Happy Kids, aims to help parents balance their desires to be both involved in their children’s lives and focused on work. Here are her recommendations for employers:
Concentrate on the day-to-day experience
Programmes and policies are great, but offering flexibility and reasonable boundaries in daily practices is what matters most. “Don’t rejig the parental leave policy repeatedly,” she says. “Take that energy and direct it towards the day-to-day experience, where you can have a big impact without spending a lot.” Practices are simply what you ask and expect managers and colleagues to do, such as allowing early hours or encouraging WhatsApp to be turned off at set times...