What men want: keeping modern-day dads engaged and supported in the workplace

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working dads

Since the UK government first introduced shared parental leave and pay back in 2015, uptake has been minimal – with only 2 per cent of eligible parents taking the option; and while organisations such as SheSays are campaigning to change this, attitudes have been slow to change.

This, in turn, is costing organisations valuable talent, as dads feel less supported than their female counterparts and look to more flexible, forward-thinking organisations to strike that work-life balance.

To help businesses better understand the needs of modern parents, DaddiLife – an online platform for modern-day dads – recently ran a survey with over 2,000 working dads aged 24-40, across every region of the UK, to create ‘The Millennial Dad at Work.

The new report, produced in association with Deloitte, aims to unearth the challenges facing dads at work and help business leaders, HR managers and IC professionals to understand which factors are most important to them.

Getting the balance right

According to the findings of the survey, 87 per cent of the dads who took part said they would consider themselves to be mostly or fully involved in day-to-day parenting duties; increasingly putting parenthood in front of their careers.

As such, nearly two thirds (63 per cent) said they had requested a change in working patterns to help juggle their responsibilities as a parent, with 19 per cent now working from home 1-2 days per week. A further 12 per cent also reported that they were now working from home 3 or more days a week.

However, the data also revealed an alarming trend that not all employers were providing the flexible working options to support the needs of new parents. While 14 per cent of the 2,000 dads surveyed had requested to work from home 1-2 days a week, less than one in five of those (19 per cent) had their request granted.

Not surprisingly then, only 56 per cent of those dads surveyed believed that their organisations treat fathers equally to mothers in their workplace. As a result, a further 37 per cent admitted that their mental health had been negatively impacted as a result of trying to balance work and parental responsibilities.

Moving on out

Unsurprisingly then, the findings from this two-year research projected also suggested that, currently, many organisations are losing good workers due to this inflexibility around working schedules.

In fact, a third of dads who took part in the survey reported changing jobs since becoming fathers, with an additional third saying they were actively looking to change.

The message from this research is clear. We all know that unhappy workers are never at their most productive and – as the digital workplace continues to shape how, where and when people are able to work – it is those businesses who fail to offer a better work/life balance for parents that are at risk of disengaging, and even losing, top talent.

To find out more from ‘The Millennial Dad at Work’, download your copy of the report here.