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Family-friendly employers do exist, however, with competition for talent at an all- time high, some companies are offering; nap rooms, in-house entertainment and laundry service, minimizing the need to ever leave the office. While those are all nice perks, many working parents, don’t necessarily want to be working 60 hours a week while trying to manage a family. And, so in the talent-perk field of today’s landscape, how hard is it to find a company that embodies the family friendly workplace?

Alice Gomstyn article How to tell whether a prospective employer is actually ‘family-friendly’ illuminates the age-old argument about what constitutes a family-friendly workplace. It reads, in part;

“Fewer hours. Less travel. More flexibility. Minimal stress.

The promise of having it all led Al, a father in suburban New Jersey, to leave a high-pressure career at a New York City talent management agency to work as a marketing director at a theater just a few miles from his home. Al (who asked that his last name not be used so he could speak candidly about his employers) wanted to devote more time to his son, who has special needs, and be available to visit the boy’s elementary school when necessary.But things didn’t work out as expected. Al’s hours grew longer and his boss began calling him on weekends. Occasional requests to leave work to deal with issues at his son’s school were met with disdain.

“What was presented to me at the interview,” Al says, “was very different from what the reality was at the workplace.”

Sometimes the quest for work-life balance can lead parents to change jobs. Those who believe they’re moving to a more family-friendly company or industry may face a rude awakening, though, when hiring managers don’t keep their promises, or when personnel changes transform a once laid-back department into a high-pressure environment.

The family-friendliness of a workplace often depends on who’s running it at the moment, says Samantha Ettus, a work-life balance expert and author. People commonly “leave companies for the grass-is-greener mentality of ‘maybe that other company is going to afford me a better lifestyle,’” she says. “But if they’re working for a boss who doesn’t have any boundaries with their own personal life … [that boss] is certainly not going to care about protecting yours.”

Rachel, a Memphis-based accountant who asked to be identified by her first name only to speak candidly, felt like no one was protecting her when she faced a dramatic increase in her workload. She had traded 60-hour-plus weeks at a public accounting firm for what was supposed to be a better quality of life at an in-house corporate tax department. For a few years, Rachel was satisfied with her move. That changed quickly, however, after several members of the department left. When their positions went unfilled, much more work was heaped onto Rachel’s plate.

She still managed to get out of the office in time to pick up her young son from day care, but it meant spending hours catching up on work each night. The stress took its toll and affected her home life. “I was leaving every day from work in tears,” she says. “I was on edge most of the time. My poor husband probably got my sharp tongue way more than he deserved.” Exhausted and distraught, Rachel reached out to supervisors asking if she could get more support, but she says her pleas were ignored.

Companies today are often quick to tout family-friendly benefits such as parental leave and remote-work options, but the hard truth is that employers are generally under no obligation to deliver on those promises and accommodate parents struggling to balance their duties at work with their responsibilities at home”.

Bottom-line: Employers shape their workplace policies and culture and so, working- parents should be prudent in asking as much information as possible about a prospective company’s expectations before signing on the dotted line of a work contract.

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It wasn’t too long ago that asking your boss to work from home would likely stunt your career aspirations. And, while some companies still frown on the idea of employees working from home, there is no stopping this shift towards working remotely, a shift that has been taking place for the last several years.

Want further proof that remote work is on the rise, despite reluctance from some companies? Here are excerpts from an article, written by Valerie Bolden-Barrette for HRDive titled, Working remotely is now the norm for developers, new study shows

  • Eighty-six percent of IT developers work remotely, with almost one-third working from home full time, according to a study by DigitalOcean, a cloud-based platform. Of the more than 4,500 respondents to the study, Currents: A Seasonal Report on Developer Trends in the Cloud: Remote Work Edition, 43% said that the ability to work remotely is “a must-have” when considering a job offer.
  • Contrary to the belief that remote workers are isolated and disengaged from the workforce, 71% of respondents who work remotely said they feel connected to their organization’s community. However, the 29% of remote workers who feel isolated said they’re disengaged from their company’s culture and excluded from offline conversations with team members when working offsite. Seventy-six percent of respondents expected remote work to offer more work-life balance, but many reported working longer hours and that their work-life balance was only slightly better than their onsite colleagues.
  • Although remote work is considered the norm for developers, a plurality (47%) started working offsite between one and four years ago. The study also found that on a scale of 1-5, a flexible work schedule was “very important” to many of the respondents (44%).

Despite the above-mentioned stats that shows an upward trajectory, that more companies are adopting a remote workforce mentality-you will have to build a compelling case on the benefits of remote work if your employer does not believe it in.

Here’s some additional stats from the article; “Remote work has swiftly become a norm, especially in a tight labor market with more specialized jobs. Since 2005, the number of U.S. employees who work from home at least half the time has more than doubled, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But employers have been comparably slow in outlining how such arrangements work for their companies; a majority of employers surveyed in a 2018 Upwork study lacked any official remote work policy”.

Bottomline: There are certain jobs like payroll and HR and in some industries  that require employees to be in the office or on a job site. On the other hand, other jobs like software programing or sales can be done remotely.  In the end, if you have presented a strong business case on the reasons why you should work remotely, and it does not match with your employers’ corporate culture, it might be best, in the end, to start looking elsewhere.

To learn more about ATS and our Cloud-Based HCM Workforce Management application for mid-enterprise size organizations, go to our website.

You can also request a demonstration or register for one of our bi-monthly webinars. To reach an account executive by phone call: 866.294.2467.