Today I have a guest post for you from a dad blogger to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown have affected dads and the work-life balance in his opinion. Han-Son from Daddilife shares his thoughts here.
There is no doubt that we are currently living in unprecedented times. While the country slowly works itself around the pandemic, COVID-19 has irrevocably changed the world around us and the fact of the matter is that what a return to “normal” will be is yet truly unseen.
While there’s been much discussion around the economic impact of strict lockdown measures, we need to remember that personal routines and family lives have likewise been dramatically affected – if not more so! But, in the run up to father’s day, just maybe this is the perfect time for dads to create some space to really evaluate their work-life routines and what life-balance they really want ahead.
An Increased Focus on Dad Life
COVID-19 has reshaped the notion of traditional work ‘in the office.’
Online Calls/Meetings, flexible hours, and more home-based activity have been taking centre stage over the last few weeks, and will quite possibly even more so in the coming months and years. However, far from this being a new thought process, our Millennial Dad at Work study from 2019 showed that this was already a growing area of need for modern-day dads, where we found that:
- 87 per cent of fathers are now actively involved in daily parenting.
- 63 per cent requested a change in their work schedules after having become fathers.
- Fathers are much more likely to change job positions in order to address the needs of their family.
- Fathers are also finding it increasingly difficult to encounter a balance between their careers and their families.
More and more modern-day dads have had the desire for more flexible working hours in order to address the needs of their family and their own day to day role in that, long before the recent coronavirus outbreak.
But while the desire for change exists, many workplaces have been a lot slower to realise that and address that change head-on. That, plus the fact that for many dads the natural thought to ‘speak out’ about that sort of thing at work is still all too uncommon. So in the run-up to Father’s Day, I wanted to outline a few areas, beyond just getting a great dad gift, that could create a legacy for family lifestyle way beyond that date.
1. Talking to those that matter
If dads truly want a better work/life balance, they need to start thinking about how to establish clear channels of communication in the workplace, and at home.
At Home – It’s not just prudent to discuss how you’re feeling with your partner/loved ones, it’s vital that you do this together as a team to make sure you’re creating the right direction that works for all of you.
At Work – Senior management simply won’t offer to make any changes if they are unaware that a problem exists. Dads will need to be proactive, and explain the current situation in order to determine what alternatives are available.
2. What’s the schedule that really works?
Getting the right work/life balance also means being sure to set the right schedule.
It’s important, to be honest with yourself in regards to the schedule you want. Be realistic with how much you can expect to accomplish within a given day, what you need from others, and what others need from you. Above all, be sure that your family knows this too! This will help everyone get more accomplished and ultimately, to ensure that any quality time spent with your loved ones is real quality time.
3. We need to talk finances
When thinking about your schedule it’s important that some pragmatism comes into play too. After all, what use are more flexible working hours if your finances are placed at too great a risk? Perhaps it means re-budgeting, perhaps it means a different way to look at the situation, but remember flexibility alone needs a total balance.
4. There’s no such thing as perfect
Finally, learn to accept that there is no “perfect” work-life balance. I prefer to think of it as a healthy compromise. You should totally expect that the initial transition may be difficult. You could experience periods of stress while adjusting. These are completely normal things, and these will likely quickly pass. Above all, be sure to discuss these with your family in order to get a bit of much-needed support from time to time.
One final thing…
I see a future where one day, especially after COVID, where flexible working will increasingly become the norm. What you’re doing now dad is beginning to prepare for the future, now. It matters for you, and it also matters for families. Thinking now about what a clear work-life balance is for you, will ensure that you remain productive while simultaneously enjoying all that your family has to offer.
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