I recently returned from a break in Spain with the family. Like many, it’s been almost 2 years since we managed to get a meaningful break away from work, home and the climate of endless news and streams about how Covid is impacting everything we do.
I was delighted to get a break away with the family and enjoy the kids running, playing and growing up so happily. Not a care in the world apart from where their next treat, ice cream or jump in the pool was coming from!
‘Normal’ has evolved, it’s how we deal with it that counts.
It’s mid September 2021 at time of writing and having just attended an in person seminar around business sustainability in the heart of Sheffield I had a nice realisation that this might be the return to ‘normal’ we have been looking for. I say ‘normal’ because let’s be honest, things aren’t going back to how they were and I think this is people’s reference to what they refer to as ‘normal’. A solicitor I spoke to is working remotely, office requirements have dropped by a third or more in their office block and meetings are held online where needed. But as we get back to more travel, more face to face, more in person and more workplace work, what does that do to us as people – as Dads – who have perhaps become more accustomed to being around the kids more, helping more at home, doing the school runs and fitting in meetings around the kids and home needs, not fitting kids and home needs around meetings. A subtle but powerful difference that will certainly have a legacy effect on me and how I run my business but also for those Dads who are returning to work, be it wholly back to the office, on the road or perhaps a hybrid blend of the two.
Prior the break away I was keen to wrap up and summarise some of the insights and research we have been carrying out with employers and business communities. It seems there is much more on the minds of Dads than the care free equivalent of their spouses!
How are Dads getting on in a changed workplace?
>>> Grab the full infographic right and see how Dads are getting on in a changed workplace. <<<
There are some startling insights in the research that raise some cause for concern. For me, one of the most profound is the perception that having young kids is perceived as a weakness in the position at work. How can this be so?! 44% of our respondents suggested this is the case. Perhaps it is borne out of the increase in distraction or guilt that a working Dad faces when working remotely or whilst juggling the roles of home life and workplace. Either way, this data bothered me and will form part of the work we do moving forwards.
An opportunity for the workplace to become more engaged
There is the opportunity here to really involve Dads in your workplace D&I agenda and strategy. A joined up workplace that works well together cannot ignore the Dad population. If we are to change stigmas and create a balanced and open opportunity for everyone in the workforce we must have Dads in this conversation.
If Dads see themselves as a weakness in the workplace for having young kids, it stands to reason that the same Dad will do everything necessary to protect their position and therefore prevent meaningful conversation that includes other important areas of the D&I agenda?
Harvard Business Review (HBR) suggests that 93% of top business leaders agree that their D&I agenda is a top priority. This is fantastic news but let’s not forget the Dads who are feeling guilt, shame, distraction and an overarching pressure that they are ‘always on call’ for work and that by having their diaries clogged with meetings from 7am we could well be preventing and serious engagement across the workforce happen in the first place.
Read: HBR wrote a strong article for 5 Strategies to infuse D&I into your organisation.
Workplaces must help Dads.
Workplaces should help their Dads be Dads. The role of Dad includes the work responsibilities within it so we must work together to create better conversations, address the needs of Dads in the context of work and home life harmony and find a way to support our workforce in the return to work.
Dads In Business helps employers create the space and facilitates the conversation for your the workforce in its entirety and also for the Dads to share openly and create that space which is needed to help tackle some of the glaring issues we face with the increases in guilt, shame, anxiety, distraction and how to mange the many roles of Dad, contributing to the wider workforce.
See more about what we do on the link below.