A recent report from the Trades Union Congress has highlighted that almost two thirds (58%) of workers in the UK believed flexible working was ‘unavailable’ in their current role, and 30% of flexible working requests are rejected or turned down. In addition, a recent poll indicated that British parents spend less than 30 minutes of quality time a day with their children. The Myers-Briggs Company, one of the world’s largest business psychology providers, is advocating this National Working Parent’s Day for the importance of both flexible working, and an awareness of the detrimental effects of the ‘always on’ culture on working parents.
The Myers-Briggs Company’s latest study of over 10,000 people across 131 countries, titled “Well-being in the Workplace”, highlighted that spending time with family or friends outside of work was one of the most effective activities for increasing well-being. In turn, the report found that higher levels of well-being among employees correlated with better organisational performance.
Will Cleare, Head of HR at The Myers-Briggs Company commented, “There are many challenges that come with being a working parent, but sacrificing quality time with your children should not be one of them. While work is integral to our lives and provides a means to live, it should not come at the cost of a healthy parent child relationship. We are digitally connected now more than ever, allowing for greater flexibility and autonomy. Allowing employees to work flexibly empowers them to work when it is most productive to both them and their organisation, and to more easily spend time with their children.”
A culture of long working hours, lengthy commutes, and exhaustion are just some of the challenges parents face in attempting to spend time with their children. In a digitised and hyper connected world, working parents can face pressure to participate in the ‘always on’ working culture, especially if their employer is already less lenient with working policies.
“In addition to a lack of flexibility, many employees both with and without children face the pressure of the always-on culture and struggle to disconnect from work when at home. It is critical that organisations do not negate the positives of offering flexible working by then encouraging employees to stay connected outside of work hours, as an enforced overlap between work and home life is linked directly to poorer business outcomes. We urge businesses to consider the benefits of flexible working for both the well-being of working parents, and for the overall performance of company.”