The issue of whether new mothers should stay at home with their children is a contentious one; some view being at home as vital to their child’s well being and happiness, while others stress the importance of quality, over quantity of, time.
This article profiles several women who have managed to combine the competing demands of work and family life, using flexible working strategies such as remote working and project work.
Read more at The Globe & Mail.
This article notes that while stay-at-home fathers remain relatively rare, their numbers have doubled over the past decade, from 1 to 2 million. It notes that ‘Millennial’ men are more likely to assume their partner’s careers will have equal importance to their own and are less likely to expect that female partners will do the majority of childcare.
However, it further notes that while couples that share domestic work and paid work more event are less likely to divorce, and have more sex, there remains stigma attached to men who actively balance work and family life, and that fathers ‘who talk about being a parent at work are viewed as both lesser workers and lesser men’.
Read more at Cosmopolitan
This week celebrates the 3rd annual National Work-Life Week in the UK, organised by WAF Project advisory board members Working Families. It’s where both employers and workers are asked to think about their work-life balance and perhaps try to strike a balance, if only for a week.
Here, work-life researcher Laura Radcliffe on the real daily impact of flexible working for dual-earner couples striving to manage their work and family responsibilities. This post was also published at The Conversation. Continue reading
Drawing on UK data, the authors demonstrate that for couples who both enjoy flexible working schedules is greater spouse synchronization in daily working times by nearly one hour. They argue that the expansion of flexitime would increase couples’ work time coordination.
Bryan, Mark; Sanz, Almudena (2014) Flexible Working and Couples’ Coordination of Time Schedules, Discussion Paper 8304, IZA
Available at: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/publications/papers/viewAbstract?dp_id=8304
Looking at work-family conflict resolution in dual-earning couples with dependent children, this paper argues that work-family decision making proceed in two ways: through ‘anchoring’ decisions – major choices that establish a framework, for ‘daily’ decisions.
Taking up flexible working may be viewed as an anchoring decision, which draws upon and impacts the decision-making framework and daily decisions. The authors thus argue that work-family conflicts must be approached in the context of past events. The paper also provides evidence as to how the impact of flexible work can differ depending on the context of households – how flexible your partner’s work is.
Radcliffe, Laura; Cassell, Catherine (2014) “Resolving couples’ work–family conflicts: The complexity of decision making and the introduction of a new framework” Human Relations, 67(7)
Available at: http://hum.sagepub.com/content/67/7/793