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September 16th is National Working Parents Day, a day that was established to honor all the hard-working parents that do the impossible; have a day job and raise children at the same time!

As a team of many working parents ourselves (half of the Nova office have toddlers running around at home!) we believe work-life balance to be a vital factor for high-performing employees and maintaining an overall welcoming office culture.

Figuring out how to balance work and family commitments is a challenge. That’s why the hard-working, insightful recruitment consultants/parents at Nova have pulled together some really useful tips and market research on not only how to manage work-life balance as a parent, but how employers can create environments that support this as well!

Tips for working parents: navigating work-life balance

To start let’s look at 5 quick tips to make sure you are acknowledging work-life balance and getting the chance to spend some quality time with your family!

Be honest with yourself

  • There will always be more work to do, however, be sure to set times meant for work and work only. Having a schedule will create dedicated time to spend with your children and to make sure you are not missing out on the beauties that are raising a family.

Turn off the electronics (yes, it can wait)

  • In this day and age, taking work home seem to be inevitable. Most companies provide laptops and work cellphones. Even if you’re not in the office, you feel guilty not being available all the time. Over one-third of parents in the workforce acknowledge that they struggle to switch off from work mode at home.
  • Set some boundaries when it comes to electronics. Put your work phone away when you get home. Rather than being distracted by texts or incoming emails, this time can be spent focusing on your children.

Identify your priorities

  • Simply put, it is difficult to prioritize, manage expectations and deliver excellent results at work when your headspace is somewhere else (i.e. Did I call the doctor? or I forgot to put the lunch in the fridge!) Plan ahead, stay organized and track everything!

Company flexibility/programs

  • Do you have the option to remote work? The chance to leave at 4:30 to pick up the kids from school? Some of you are thinking, no I do not have these options. However, my question to you is have you asked your management team? If not, why not? You might be surprised to find your boss sympathetic/supportive – they may even be in a similar situation!
  • Flexi-time and remote working helps a lot, however, the main cultural element needed to work happily full-time and be a parent is having a management team who trust and believe in you. As a parent, it is important not to take advantage of that trust and make sure that you treat your company with respect for giving this flexibility. Show that you can go the extra mile and produce results even if you’re not seated behind your desk from 8-5

Socialize!

  • Whether that be getting a coffee with a friend, taking the kids to the beach, or going to the gym, remember that R & R is just as important as getting your work done. This will keep you on top of your game and you will be refreshed and more focused for the week.
  • Work-life balance is so important, and yes, as a working parent it can often feel like an impossible goal/unattainable, especially if you’re like me and strive to give everything 100%. However, it can be done!

Why should employers adopt family-friendly work policies that promote work-life balance?

How can companies stay competitive in a market that craves work-life balance?

Work-life balance is a topic that is constantly evolving, and in recent years family-friendly work policies have become what is expected of a leading company. However, even with the rise of importance of work-life balance, the benefits survey from the Society for Human Resource Management in 2017 reported no significant increases in the number of companies offering family-friendly benefits.

Here are 3 key perks why as an employer you should adopt family-friendly work policies that will not only motivate current employees but attract top talent with a competitive benefits package!

Increased Productivity

  • Stress and fatigue (a.k.a. employee burnout) are some of the main factors of productivity loss. The Corporate Executive Board, which represents 80% of the Fortune 500 companies, found that employees who believe that they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t after researching 50,000 global workers.

Competitive benefits package

  • Childcare benefits are an important driver in recruiting and retaining talented working parents. While 29% of companies allow parents to bring children to work in an emergency situation, costlier benefits such as access to backup childcare services remain rare at just 3% of companies surveyed.
  • Compressed schedules, adjusted work hours, work-from-home options. Many parents in Cayman, especially with school-aged children are looking for the opportunity to come in after school drop-off or leave a bit early to not miss school pick up. Let’s be honest, with the current traffic situation, I’m sure all parents would appreciate the opportunity to not sit in traffic for over an hour and would be more than happy to make up the work after their kiddos get to bed.
  • From a recruitment standpoint, candidates have been leaning towards companies who offer flexible work schedules; it’s no surprise that the best companies are offering flexi-options!

Better retention rates for quality employees

  • Let’s think about this logically, how can you build a successful company with burned-out and unhappy employees?

If you’re an employer or manager, think about what you can do for the working parents in your team, we guarantee you it will be beneficial in the long run, and a big thank you to all the hard-working parents for everything you do – keep it up!

Until next time,

Hannah

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