Recent surveys have shown that many fathers would rather be able to work flexibly than to progress to Senior management. Often the media has focussed on working women ‘having it all’ many men, especially fathers, can feel left behind and this if often where coaching can help them to focus on achieving that all important work-life balance, enabling them to gain the time they want for themselves and their families without losing opportunities in the working environment.
Senior Managers in some of the organisations we work with often confide that they are worried that it will be difficult to attract and retain good people if they have not really considered good family-friendly policies and they do not really look at ways to best support people to achieve their personal goals as well as those within the business.
If you are a working dad who wants to be able to spend more time with your family and feel like you are juggling both try asking yourself some of these questions to start you off…
- What are you busy at work with that you feel is really a waste of your time? – the two main culprits are often emails and meetings!
- How much of your time in a day could you claw back if you got rid of this wasteful activity?
- Do you sometimes work longer hours because others do?
- Are those extra hours productive?
- What family time or activities with your children would you like to be able to do?
- How can you make that happen?
Figures out recently show that it’s still only a tiny percent of new fathers – between 1 and 3 per cent who are taking up their right to shared parental leave. Although there can be many reasons for this it is a worryingly low figure.
Lots of useful information for working dads can be found at https://www.dad.info/work/your-workplace-rights/flexible-working
How can you make it happen for you? Coachhouse would suggest the following ideas to help get you started
- Get your Manager in tune with flexible working – encourage your organisation to develop a culture where family friendly practices and policies are the norm. Happy people are more motivated, work more effectively and have strong teamwork.
- Suggest a way to make what you want work – think through what you need and consider how it could work for your organisation as well as you before asking your Manager.
- Don’t make any assumptions or convince yourself you’ll be turned down before you ask – sometimes you can talk yourself out of it before you get there and it’s based on unfounded belief.
- Ask your partner or other family members for their views – what do they think? what would work? what would help them too?
- Are there others in your team that might have key dates they don’t want to miss – often there are key events in the year like children’s sports days, music concerts, nativity – when fathers want to be there – put these in the diary for you and your team early on.
- When you gain that family time make sure you are focussed on it and not on work – make sure you aren’t thinking about work and what needs doing when you are with your family!
This is some food for thought – if you would like help on your journey contact Coachhouse and we will be pleased to chat through whether coaching could help you achieve sustainable change.