Although the idea of juggling family and work responsibilities seems to have greater impact on women, in today’s economy–where two income families abound–the workload can be somewhat shared by both partners. The linked column by Cindy Kirscher Goodman, in the Miami Herald, provides some interesting points in this matter: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/cindy-krischer-goodman/article16216256.html#/tabPane=tabs-b0710947-1-1.
Supervisors should try to be understanding of today’s employees’ responsibilities outside of the workplace, especially those of the younger generation who may view their jobs differently than others of prior generations. Failure to do so may jeopardize the retention of valuable employees. You will notice the epiphany, which was noted in the column, that one supervisor had as her life changed when she had a baby herself.
I believe that it is important for employees also to make sure that management is aware of their flexibility needs. There may be some sort of trade-off, which would satisfy their workplace responsibilities: coming in early in order to pick-up children at daycare after work; working from home when a child is sick; staying a little longer to make-up for time taken to breast feed; etc. Also, be sure to make co-workers aware, as well, that you are not avoiding doing your fair share of the unit’s work.
My former employer went above and beyond what was required to provide full pay and benefits, and hold jobs open during multiple deployments, for National Guard members serving overseas. Shouldn’t they also be willing to enable employees to be good parents, as well as active members of the community? The company surely benefits when the overall quality of life is enhanced, both in the workplace and on there home front. At the same time, happy employees are good for business and tend to reciprocate, both qualitatively and quantitatively.