CHICAGO, June 14, 2012 – Is work keeping new dads from maximizing their paternity leave? Two-in-five working dads (43 percent) who had a child in the last three years reported they didn’t take any paternity leave.
For those working dads who took some, but not the full allotted time off, 47 percent said they felt pressured by work to come back early. Of those who took some paternity leave, 59 percent took one week or less. This is according to CareerBuilder’s annual Father’s Day survey, conducted February 9 to March 2, 2012, among 729 full-time, working fathers with children 18 and under who are living with them.
Across various categories, the stress of prolonged economic uncertainty post-recession appears to have affected more working fathers’ balance between professional and family life.
- Bringing work home – More than one-third of working dads (36 percent) reported they bring home work from the office, up from 27 percent in 2008.
- Likelihood of being a stay-at-home dad – Thirty-five percent of working dads said,if their spouse or partner made enough money to support the family, they would consider trading their careers for a role of staying home with the kids – down from 37 percent in 2008.
- Willingness to take pay cut – While working dads want to spend more time with their families, the number of dads willing to take a pay cut to do so dropped since the recession. Thirty-three percent of working dads reported they would take a pay cut if it meant they have more quality time at home, down from 37 percent in 2008.
“For many households, the recession has affected family life as much as personal finances,” said Alex Green, General Counsel for CareerBuilder and father of three. “Many families need dual incomes, and post-recession work environments often entail longer longer hours. Fortunately, we see more dads taking advantange of flexible work arrangements to try to make up the difference and have more quality time with their families.”
The survey found that 22 percent of fathers say their work has negatively affected relationships with their children and 26 percent said work negatively affected relationships with significant others. To help achieve a better work-life balance, Green recommends the following:
• 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 729 working dads of kids 18 and under living in household (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government) ages 18 and over between February 9 and March 2, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 729 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 3.63 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 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 45 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 10,000 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, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com