It isn’t easy being a working parent. And yet, it’s a role that most people will experience during their lifetime. As our lifestyles change and the parameters in which we live and work in evolve, there are certain trends that I am seeing on my radar that will shift our lives, our workspaces, and thus, create changes that affect us.
These are eight working parent trends I predict we will see in 2015:
More Focus on Flexibility
Many employers think they are flexible, but their rules and work environment say otherwise. As the workplace begins to seek efficiency and higher retention, they will continue to explore being more flexible and understanding where their employees are concerned. Offering flexible hours and work locations that cater to their workforce will come into play much more this year.
Opting for Job Sharing
Job sharing has been a tool used in smaller offices, or those with a corporate office counter culture. This year, we will see it reemerge with big Fortune 500 and 100 companies offering lower and middle management positions job share capabilities. Job sharing allows two or more employers to share job duties directly assigned to their “team”. With job sharing comes more flexibility for the employee and offers the employer the opportunity to get more bang for their buck. It can be a win/win when executed well by all parties.
As the needs of working parents change, so does the focus. While many working parents will continue moving up the corporate ladder towards success, many more will be branching off to start their own businesses and side hustles. And while you many not be leaving the company you currently work for, the time allotted to this new business may take away from time outside of work. The goal should be to fill your appetite professionally, but never starve your personal life in the process. Time management will be most important as a tool to help you complete everything on your plate.
Human Resources wants both the company they work for and their employees to be healthy, well-managed, stable, and winning. You will see HR professionals taking a closer look at employees’ needs and trying to accommodate them more by changing the company culture. Gone are the days of HR being the bad guy—most HR professionals will seek to be an advocate for both the employee and the company they work for. With that, comes a better understanding of who they serve and their duties as professional managers.
More Benefit Usage
You may see more benefits this year. Alongside the standard healthcare options and life insurance, you will see your company instituting better wellness plans, mental health days off, stress leave, transportation allowance, tuition reimbursement, EAP‘s, and childcare assistance. Many of these benefits you may not know about, so make sure to contact your HR office or your direct manager for more details. You can also check out my post: Seven Benefits You Should May Not Be Using here.
Personalized Work Life Management
As your role ebbs and flows with your career, Work Life Management comes into play. Work Life Management is phrase that I’ve coined that explains how you manage or deal with both your work life and you personal life. Examples of types of Work Life Management are Work Life Balance and Work Life Flow. You can customize a Work Life Management system that works well with your career and personal life based on you and your family’s needs. We will see more working parents channeling their Work Life Management selves as you navigate the two merging worlds.
More men will opt to take a “paternity leave” from work in the last trimester and well into the first few weeks of the child’s birth. The corporate environment is beginning to recognize the importance of father/child bonding, and are allowing both men and women to take a leave of absence of work for birth. This leave is still unpaid for the most part, but is becoming an issue that is being debated not only amongst the boardroom, but in the political area as well.
Boundaries, not Balance
Working parents are busy enough. Balance doesn’t keep the busy away, but boundaries do. Exercising boundaries in both work and personal life gives not only time back into your schedule, but create a healthy atmosphere in which to live and work. Creating healthy boundaries is a tool that helps keep the stress away so you can have the time to spend it on what really matters to you.