Frustrated by long days at the office, 42 percent of working fathers say they are willing to take a pay cut to obtain a job that affords them an improved balance of work and home, according to a new CareerBuilder.com survey. More than two-thirds of working fathers are spending in excess of 40 hours a week at work and 25 percent work more than 50 hours each week. The CareerBuilder.com "Men and Women at Work 2004" survey of working fathers was conducted from April 6 to April 19, 2004.
Twenty-nine percent of working fathers say they are dissatisfied with their work/life balance and one-fourth are dissatisfied with their jobs overall. Even though 87 percent of working fathers earn more than their spouse or partner, four-in-ten working fathers say they would relinquish the breadwinner role and stay at home with the kids if their spouse or partner earned enough for them to live comfortably.
"Demanding workloads and busy travel schedules have prevented some working dads from taking a more active role in their children's lives," said Richard Castellini, Senior Career Advisor for CareerBuilder.com and father of two. "Nearly one-in-four working fathers say they spend less than two hours with their children after work. One-in-five spend less time with their children than their parents did with them."
Almost half of working fathers say they are preoccupied with work while at home and 35 percent say they often or always have to work weekends. These work distractions extend beyond day to day interactions with 45 percent of working dads stating they have missed at least one significant event in their children's lives in the last year. Twenty-two percent have missed more than three events.
To better manage personal and professional commitments, working dads are taking advantage of different work style adjustments such as telecommuting and flexible work schedules. The majority of fathers stated that their employers are tolerant of compressed workdays due to family obligations.
Castellini offers the following tips to help working dads gain a better work/life balance:
1) Earn the Right -- before you can approach your supervisor about implementing a more flexible work schedule, you have to earn the right. Work hard and establish yourself as a top player for the company and then propose an altered work schedule at the peak of your performance. Employers will be more open to the discussion when they recognize the value you consistently bring to the company. 2) Save Work for Bedtime -- if you need to bring the office home with you, avoid working on projects or checking emails while the kids are awake. When you are home, it's all about them. 3) Get involved -- Introduce yourself to your child's teacher and ask for email updates on his/her progress. Volunteer your time where you can spend it with your kids -- whether it's joining Scouts or coaching a team or participating at a school function. The Survey
The CareerBuilder.com survey, "Men and Women at Work 2004," was conducted from April 6 to April 19, 2004 of 208 working fathers. To collect data for the survey, CareerBuilder.com commissioned SurveySite to use an e-mail methodology whereby individuals who are members of SurveySite Web Panel were randomly selected and approached by e-mail invitation to participate in the online survey. The results of this survey are accurate within +/- 6.8 percentage points (19 times out of 20).
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Media Contact Jennifer Sullivan Director, Corporate Communications (773) 527-1164
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