With catch phrases like “open 24/7” and business professionals constantly connected via smartphones, we have been programmed to think celebrating the “American Dream” means being a workhorse for your job, and often, sacrificing family time.
But honestly…why? It’s not elevating our country to a higher level of productivity, and in fact, is just making our society more miserable with less time to do things we actually enjoy.
A recent study highlighted in Forbes ranked the United States among the worst countries for raising a family. Where things like safety and cost (hello daycare!) were major contributions to our rank, long work hours and declining mental health were big reasons the U.S. fell behind as well.
It’s clear to most working parents that there are many steps we need to take to improve work culture for families in America, but one that is easy to implement is increased flexibility and the ability to work remotely when possible.
During the pandemic, many companies have either chosen or forced remote work for employees. I’ve discussed this change with my mom friends who have never had the opportunity to work-from-home, and they all have said the same thing: While working remotely has had its challenges (especially with kids at home!), having the flexibility has been a positive game changer.
Many discussed with me how they have found the time to work out during the time they would have been commuting, play a game with their child during a call break, and the most popular sentiment – finally being able to sit down and eat dinner as a family at a decent time.
There is a tremendous amount of scientific research linking family meals to better grades, improved mental health, language and social skills in children, a better family bond, and more. Perhaps more companies need to be paying attention to this and get creative.
I understand flexible and remote work isn’t one-size-fits-all across every industry and it’s important to point out that “flexible work” is not the same as “working flexibly.” Some businesses rely on collaboration that doesn’t always vibe on Zoom or a conference call. But if your workplace has survived the pandemic with remote work, maybe it’s time to reimagine what the workweek grind looks like.
Businesses: It’s time to re-frame the grind.
As yourself these questions: Can employees take turns working remotely on days when things are slower? Can an employee cut work early to catch a sports game if their tasks are complete for the day? Or is it possible to allow employees to leave earlier so they are able to actually sit down and have a family meal together?
Reimagining how flexibility can work within your company culture can make all the difference to working parents.
I love having the flexibility to work from home with Hay There Social Media. I feel lucky to be able to volunteer at my child’s school or have lunch with a longtime friend and know my work will be ready for me when the kids head to bed.
If you’re a mom craving professional fulfillment and flexibility, check out how we are training women to run their own social media businesses. If you’re ready to blaze your own path with independent remote work, we’d love to chat with you!