CHICAGO, June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CareerBuilder's annual Father's Day Survey shows the financial situation for U.S. families may be improving with more dads back at work. The majority (84 percent) of working dads who have been laid off over the last 12 months say they have found full-time employment.
The survey also found that while dads still struggle with finding work/life balance, fewer are willing to give up the breadwinner role post-recession. One-third (33 percent) of working dads who are not the sole financial provider for their household said they would quit their jobs if their spouse or significant other made enough money to support the family, down from 44 percent five years ago. The survey was conducted from February 21 to March 10, 2011, among more than 800 men, employed full-time, with children 18 and under living in the household.
Working Longer Hours
Leaner staffs and heavier workloads have dads putting in longer hours away from home. One-in-five (22 percent) report working more than 50 hours per week on average, up from 19 percent last year. Two-in-five (39 percent) spend two hours or less with their children each day, 16 percent spend one hour or less.
Dads often have to take the office home with them after putting in a full day at the office. Twenty percent reported they bring home work at least three days per week.
Impact on Relationships with Their Children
While dads long to be in the front row for important events for their kids, work commitments can sometimes get in the way. One-third (34 percent) reported they missed two or more significant events in their child's life due to work in the last year and an additional 19 percent said they have checked work voicemail or e-mail during their children's events. Twenty-one percent feel their work has had a negative impact on their relationship with their children.
"As companies downsized during the recession and work demands accelerated, we saw dads having a harder time finding balance between providing for their families financially and spending quality time with them," said Alex Green, General Counsel for CareerBuilder and father of three. "Communicating openly and planning ahead both at work and home is critical, especially when personal and professional obligations are pulling you in 100 different directions. It's also important to cut yourself some slack. Even the best dads need a break sometimes."
Green recommends the following tips to help working dads find a better balance at work and home:
- Talk about it – Remember that communication is a two-way street. Besides just listening to what is going on in your family's lives, talk about what is going on in your office, so everyone understands why you are away or have to do some work when you are home.
- Scheduling is key to success – Add every family member's schedule to one master calendar so there are no surprises. Also, save vacation days for important events and talk to your supervisor about flexible work arrangements.
- Establish a "no work" zone – Put down your Blackberry and avoid checking e-mails from the time you arrive home until after your children have gone to sleep.
- Consider flexible work arrangements – More companies are offering telecommuting options, flexible hours, condensed work weeks and other arrangements. Approach your boss with a game plan of how the new arrangement would work and how it can ultimately benefit the organization.
- It is ok to say no! – In addition to actual work, sometimes activities associated with your job can take a toll on your free time. Determine what additional activities you can turn down and which are necessary so that you can free up more of your time outside of the office.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 836 working dads of kids 18 and under living in household (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between February 21 and March 10, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 836 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 3.39 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company, and The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI). CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.