Juggling Baby and Business: How Businesses Make Up a Village
What comes first — work or family? For many, the answer seems obvious but the truth of the matter is, the answer depends on who’s asking. Working parents (especially working mothers) have always had their priorities questioned when it comes to balancing this delicate scale. Women have always faced judgement about their choices between building a career and starting a family, and it’s a case of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’. In this day and age, the separation between home and work life is practically nonexistent — and that’s the way it should be.
The number of mothers in the workforce is continuing to rise. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that 64% of couple families with children have both parents working, and that was for 2017. So given the number of working mums, why should parents have to choose between work and family? From a business perspective, recognising the needs and creating an environment of flexibility around balancing work and family life, serves to benefit both your brand and its people.
It takes a village: building a parent-friendly workplace
You’ve heard this saying before, and it’s still one that resonates with the parental crowd around the world. Short of the evolution of its context, raising a child is always done best when it’s a team effort, and team efforts are nowhere more prevalent than a working environment. That isn’t to say that every employee’s baby is now the responsibility of a business, but it does mean that creating a parent- and baby-friendly environment only serves to improve the overall productivity of your business. Within an environment of flexible working hours and workspaces, parents are allowed more opportunity to delegate their time better between their little ones and their deadlines. In doing so, your business is creating opportunities for these working parents to invest time more actively in the fast-paced lives of their kids, while also creating a greater sense of brand trust and appreciation.
An invested worker is a productive worker. When you invest in the lives of your employees, you invest in your business.
Modern technology — iPads and iParenting
Sometimes iPads are a necessary evil when it comes to keeping little ones entertained. It might be a little disconcerting to see a two-year-old expertly handle an iPad before they can spell ‘iPad’, but tech-savvy kids in this day and age are just a given. It’s very easy to judge parents who stick screens in front of their kids, but when you’ve got a conference call to make and some quiet time to take it, screens are a godsend.
Whether in an office space or at home, the modern working parent is also the target audience most brands and businesses look at, from a marketing perspective. When you pay attention to their needs in the office, you get a better understanding of how to cater to the needs of those you’re marketing to. An in-depth view on which forms of social media platforms that working parents and their little ones spend time most on allows you to refine your marketing and advertising campaigns when identifying your target audiences.
You’ve seen the statistics on remoter workers and their productivity. Have you seen statistics on the productivity of parents with flexible hours and remote working capabilities? Studies across the decade have found that working parents are more productive than their childless counterparts. Female employees with children are seen to deliver an additional week-and-a-half of productive work when allowed flexibility with their remote working.
So they’re not just superheroes in their kids’ eyes; when your company recognises the need for a flexible working routine, they’re superheroes who can deliver their expertise and meet deadlines — and still partake in the pivotal moments of their children’s lives. Whether it’s helping with school drop-offs and pick-ups, or being present for their sports events, remote working allows working parents to have both family and work – without the need to choose.
Creating a work culture that recognises and fosters diverse family groups and needs, means you’re fostering internal employee happiness, and in turn, employee loyalty to your brand.