Recently we discussed work life balance challenges for men. The topic is on the rise and there is no denying that many working fathers are broken down on the highway of cultural and personal balance distress, searching for resolution. Fortunately, more and more working dads are making progress for the better, as is shown in the article Alpha Dads: Men Get Serious About Work Life Balance, published by Business Week. In this article, writer Sheelah Kolhatkar interviews a group called Deloitte Dads. Their aim: to help working fathers. These men don’t claim to have attained balanced perfection. However, through supporting one another, they’ve provided encouragement and shared lessons for success. As a result, these men are both pursuing career development while still attending their children’s hockey games and remaining involved parents.
The life of a Deliotte Dad may sound so great, that it doesn’t seem realistic. Don’t fool yourself, it is realistic. It just takes hard work and knowledge. Below are some helpful tools for working fathers.
Work Life Balance Solutions for Men:
Ignite the discussion in work culture.
The more working fathers vocalize their situation and seek change, the more quickly positive things will happen. Don’t throw a pity party, but don’t slink back and deny your situation either. Incorporate working father discussions into interactions with colleagues. The more needs are talked about and visible within a workplace, the more organizations become motivated to improve policies and keep employees engaged.
Talk to your employer.
Similarly, consider speaking with your boss when you need fewer hours or simply can’t take on another assignment due to obligations at home. Only you know your work culture and the people you deal with, but generally the worst that can happen is someone tells you “no.”
Patience is a virtue regarding this topic. Work Life Balance discussions are on the rise. Mark Royal mentions in CNBC’s Everybody Wins With A Healthy Work Life Balance more and more companies are realizing that work life balance goes beyond making employees happy, it also significantly boosts productivity. Positive changes are coming down the pike culturally and in the business world; you just have to continue staying positive during the transition. For that matter, consider becoming proactive in legislature to jump start the stalled gender revolution through involvement with groups like The Center for Work Life Law.
Be it establishing a network of people and planned procedures in balancing your work and home obligations or consulting with a work life balance professional for guidance, turn to help if you need it. Talk about your emotions with your spouse, family and friends. Don’t try to bottle everything up, because that just builds stress. And stress is a scientifically proven productivity hindrance.
No one said all of this would be easy. Deliotte Dad Lanoue “became partner in 2010, has two children in school full time, and he estimates that he works one day a week out of his basement office at home, partly to spend more time with them. He manages this, he says, by ‘being proactive with my calendar, weeks out,’ planning his schedule meticulously, moving in-person meetings to conference calls when he needs to and being blunt and in-your-face about it. ‘Everyone knows my routine when I’m not there,’ he says. ‘Between 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., I’m available by e-mail. If there’s anything I have to review, it’s well into the evening.’ In other words: It’ll get done, but on his time” (Alpha Dads: Men Get Serious About Work Life Balance).Finding balance is hard work, but who can think anything more rewarding?
Leave the car behind and jump on the tow truck. Work life balance isn’t a solo effort but a team adventure. There are people in every man’s life who are willing to support this journey. Be humble enough to accept help and dedicated enough to power through. Above all else, remember work life balance is about much more than you, it’s about you and everyone you love.