Fewer Working Fathers Willing to Be Stay-At-Home Dads Than Previous Years, Finds CareerBuilder’s Annual Father’s Day Survey
Senior Career Adviser and Father of Two Offers Tips for a Better Work/Life Balance
CHICAGO.- As working fathers face increased financial pressure, fewer are willing to give up the traditional breadwinner role. Thirty-one percent of working dads said they would leave their jobs if their spouse or significant other’s income could comfortably support the entire family, down from 37 percent in 2008 and 49 percent in 2005. The CareerBuilder survey, “Working Dads 2009,” was conducted from February 20 to March 11, 2009 and included 797 men, employed full-time, with children age 18 or younger living at home.
Working dads continue to explore different options that would free up more time to spend with their families. Despite a tough economy, 30 percent said they are willing to take a pay cut to spend more time with their children, down from 37 percent in 2008. Forty percent would consider a cut of 10 percent or more.
Thirty-nine percent of working dads report they spend two hours or less per day with their children during the workweek, while 14 percent are only able to spend an hour or less. Thirty-one percent of working dads bring work home at least once a week, up from 25 percent last year. Half of working dads said they have missed a significant event in their child’s life in the last year due to work; 28 percent have missed more than three.
“Many working dads have to contend with heavier workloads and longer hours as businesses struggle to do more with less,” said Jason Ferrara, senior career adviser at CareerBuilder and father of two. “It’s important to have a conversation with your supervisor. Employers are placing more emphasis on work/life balance through creative benefits that encourage employees to better manage their personal and professional commitments. However, nearly half of working dads do not take advantage of any flexible work arrangements offered to them.”
Ferrara offers the following tips to help working dads gain a healthy balance between their work and home lives:
1. Communicate - Keep an open dialogue with your spouse and children. Remember that communication is a two-way street. Talk about what is going on in your office, so your family understands why you are away or have to do some work when you are home.
2. Work off of a master family calendar - Add every family member’s schedule to one master calendar so there are no surprises. Also, save vacation days for important events and talk to your supervisor about flexible work arrangements.
3. Your homework can wait - Put down your Blackberry and avoid checking e-mails until after your children have gone to sleep.
4. Plan ahead - You plan out your work day/week, so why not plan some additional time with your kids? Add events to your calendar such as taking a bike ride, going to the park or even doing a project with them around the house.
5. Plan a family event in your office - Take advantage of the summer months when school is out and the office may be less hectic by scheduling a kid-friendly potluck or other event with co-workers and their families.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder between February 20 and March 11, 2009 among 797 U.S. male workers (ages 18 and over, employed full-time; not self-employed with at least one child under 18 years old living at home). Percentages for some questions are based on a subset of these U.S. male workers, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 797, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 3.47 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
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