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Need for flexible working options highlighted

Posted by Eureka Editor

Last updated on September 13, 2015

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Fathers need to spend more time with their families.

There is no doubt that a positive family life is one of the keys to a stable upbringing for a child.

However, as the stresses of work continue to grow, being actively involved at home is becoming harder and harder for many parents - but especially fathers. 

In fact, Diversity Council Australia (DCA) has published some telling statistics about this issue in the lead up to Father's Day this Sunday (September 6).

According to the findings, only 41 per cent of fathers under the age of 35 are able to choose their start and finish times at work. In reality, 79 per cent would like to dictate this so they have more time to spend with their growing families. This backs up the result that the third most sought-after job characteristic for young fathers was balancing both family and personal life.

DCA's CEO Lisa Annese explained that flexible working arrangements must be considered an option by workplaces.

"Even though men want and need access to flexible working to support their important role as fathers, they are failing to take advantage of it," she said.

"It's very disappointing that young fathers report discrimination and difficulties in managing the demands of their work and personal life - and feel they have to choose between advancing in their jobs and devoting time to their family."

High working hours

According to DCA, 28 per cent of men work longer than 48 hours a week - compared to only 10 per cent of women. This figure only drops slightly among fathers (46 hours) and are the demographic most willing to reduce these numbers.

Given that 90 per cent of fathers in opposite-sex couples work full time, Ms Annese believes attitudes and cultural norms need to change so men can work as flexibly as women.

"The idea that only women should work flexibly and should shoulder all caring responsibilities is outdated and unhelpful - to men and women," she stated.

What is the solution?

In many situations, the actual intensity of work that fathers need to do at work can't be reduced, which means businesses need to be smarter with how this work is completed. One option is to introduce teleconferencing into the situation. 

With the ability to conduct business calls from the office with clients and stakeholders, there is no need for fathers to undertake long travel overseas away from their family. These conference calls can also be done at work, allowing more quality time with the kids.

For more information about teleconferencing, contact the team at Eureka Conferencing today.

Topics: Teleconferencing

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