Balancing Life as a Father and at Work
Families nowadays are becoming more and more different than a generation past. With the image portrayed in mass media that the father goes to work in the early morning, while the mother gets to prepare the kids for school, seeing the husband to the door wishing him a good day, then attending to household chores, has changed dramatically. Fathers now face the dilemma of balancing giving more to their families than just putting food on the table, and managing to stay on top of things at work.
In the following lines lie some useful suggestions to how working fathers can better balance attaining astounding achievements in their careers, while being more involved with their families achieving stronger and sturdier bonds:
・Make time for daily encounters: Little daily details are of more influence and impact than big isolated events; i.e., dropping your children to school, or their training appointments builds stronger bond than not being involved in their daily lives and compensate with a big trip to Disney Land.
・Reprioritize and set boundaries: in business attending to an email sent after hours is not always urgent. So, it is always a good idea to keep emails and pending non urgent work till the next morning. This way time spent at home is better invested and has the best impact on the children. While playing a managerial role in an organization multiplies and increases the accountabilities, setting boundaries to certain consistent commitments can be quite of a benefit; e.g., it could be a fixed dinner time with the family, or it could be attending sports trainings and coaching sessions… etc.
・Considering working from home1: now in the age of digitization, we have a variety of tools to stay connected and in line with the team and keep work flowing. Since many jobs require doing using a computer, you can spend more time around your family while maintaining your career advancement.
・Consider jobs with flexible shifts: the business world is now changing. While working hours used to be a fixed 9 to 5 shifts, things started to improve when it comes the start and the end of shifts. There are plenty of solutions modern organizations started to come up with; working from 11 to 7 gives most dual-earner couples the flexibility of attending to their children. While other systems offer working 10 hours a day and get three-day weekend.
・Consider Paternity Leave: depending on the organization you belong to and the culture it is in, paternity leave could vary from 3 days in some countries to 6 moths up to 1 year in other countries. However, spending the paternity leave with your family contributes greatly in the bond built in the very beginning with the neonate and the life partner.
・Make use of your time at home: try to involve yourself in different activities with you family, such as: enjoying meals together, exercising and doing sports together, and go on vacations away from home. It highly helps that you leave work at work once you leave the office and set foot at home.
・Make use of research-based surveys: The LIFO ®- “Work-Life-Balance” survey enables people to reflect better on how to handle their Work-Life Balance. By highlighting the strengths/most used styles; the findings from the profile should help to use strengths consciously, to recognize possible need for action and to be able to derive measures, e.g., the expansion of other strengths. The aim is to support the individual in coming to terms easily (more) with the presented WLB dimensions and to find the balance in them.
The LIFO® "Work-Life-Balance Styles" survey can be used effectively on its own. In combination with other LIFO® surveys can consciously reflect the respective context, and further coaching and training approaches emerge.
The LIFO analyzes to describe the WLB ®- "Work-Life-Balance-Styles" survey the individual balance based on the following six fields:
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