It is a matter of weeks away until the Olympics takes place. Many businesses will have been preparing for this memorable event and planning as to how this could impact their business. Many businesses however may not be even this prepared.
The subject of “flexible working” has been suggested as a solution for employees wishing to attend major events when this Olympics starts in July. Some companies, already organised and familiar with this work pattern are going to follow this policy to help them successfully operate during the games. It does appear that a considerable amount of companies have refused flexible working to accommodate staff when the major events take place.
Isn’t this a missed opportunity for companies to road test this method of working during a sporadic business period? They could be using flexible working as an opportunity for the future. Some companies will see this time during the Olympics as committed focus for continued growth and productivity especially whilst the economy is struggling. Admirable yes, but also could be a missed opportunity at the same time.
Of course as the country continues to find ways to improve the economy this is a priority, but apart from financial stability, there are other advantages to a flexible working pattern.
Some benefits to be considered are home working and staggered hours during congested times. This can reduce stress and offer a better work-life balance. By motivating staff productivity this will increase along with morale and absenteeism reduces. Some key benefits when employees are hoping to be involved with the events.
If communicated clearly and effectively to a workforce, the trialling of flexible working could be measured and evaluated to identify successes and problem areas for a permanent plan. During this period, businesses can focus on absence, morale, productivity and management effectiveness. Some crucial ingredients to help formulate preferred working arrangements for the future.
It has been revealed that stay-at-home dad’s has more than doubled in the past year meaning that couples have decided that the mother will be the main breadwinner. Aviva insurers carried out the research which suggested that men performing the role of “primary parent” has risen to 1.4 million this year compared to 600,000 last year.
It doesn’t surprise me at all and there are a few obvious reasons as to why dad’s are taking on this role. Financial factors are thought to be a major factor and with the shift in the economy, the decision can be based on which parent earns the most money. I can identify with this scenario as the same happened to myself and my husband. Back in 2009 when I was due to return to work from maternity leave, my husband lost his job. It made sense that I returned full time whilst he looked after the children and stepped back and rethink what he would do. A tricky transition at the time but in hindsight was the best decision we made.
I was listening to Radio 2 just this week and a few stay-at-home dad’s were being interviewed. The outcome of each dad interviewed was mostly based on financial matters – losing their job, wife earning more and a complete career change. Amongst these dad’s a few were conscious decision’s to stay at home whilst others had not envisaged such a role and to support the family, the decision was made. It was interesting to hear that in the end they all realised what a positive solution being a stay-at-home dad was. Their families were better balanced and happy, career opportunities had been created for some dad’s whilst being at home which overall provided satisfaction. Also, the realisation that the early years where vitally important and being at home presented itself as a privilege.
Of course there are some negative outcome’s from the research and interviewed. Nearly one in five felt they “were less of a man” and one in seven wished they could find a jobs which would pay more than their partner so they could get back to work. Not all negative may I add, in that most dad’s felt comfortable in their role and within their family unit had collectively decided that this was the way life would be and it was their best solution.
I think the reasons overall for stay-at-home dad’s will be varied and will certainly rise more over the years. We are experiencing such a transition in our society and economy that new working patterns and needs are being shaped further, whereby it will be more familiar that men become the “primary parent”.