Read how my colleague Sherry Knight from Dimension 11 responds to the question, "Does family have a place at work?" Read more of her posts here.
You may be thinking, "Dumb question!" And if you are a Baby Boomer (or heaven forbid, a Traditionalist) you are probably right. Those two eras spent much time separating work from family. You did not bring your family problems to work and hopefully, you didn’t take your work problems home.
It’s 2019 – today we have the Millennials already in the work force and the Gen Z just entering the work force. This is a whole new dynamic. These are the latch-key kids! They spent time without mom at home preparing cookies and milk as they walked through the door – instead they were off to after school babysitters or daycares. They would much rather have had mom or dad at home to greet them and yet, for most families, that is just not feasible.
Jenn, of the Gen Y generation, is a single mom – her kids mean the world to her and yet she does not have the capacity to stay home with her 3 youngsters. So, she does the next best thing – each child has a cell phone so they can call her with their fears, their excitement and their questions at any time. As she raised her children, they recognized they could count on mom to be available whenever they needed her by phone.
These Millennial children have grown up recognizing, yes, perhaps demanding, their offspring have the opportunity to connect with their parents. That means, cell phones, iPads and even being on site or having mom or dad leave work to look after their needs.
So, why do I bring this up – the simple reason is, as a work place, if you choose to continue in the decades old manner you will have staff leave your employ. Employees today, especially parents, demand a different approach. Some work from home and thus have an easier time shifting from work to family as the need arises. Some work from a physical work place and will leave whenever a child is in need.
Right or wrong? Neither, just consider whether or not you want staff! The world has changed – in many cases it is an employees’ world – there are too many jobs and not enough people to fill them. Thus, you may want to accept that work and family meld today – only, of course, if you want to keep those Millennials and Gen Z’s on your payroll.
Oh yes, I hear all about the lazy, self centred Millennials – yes, some are – and so were some of the Gen Y’s, the Boomers and the Traditionalists. Yet, many aren’t – they just realize there is a need to live a more balanced life. To connect work and family so both are blessed with the energy of a mom or dad who does his or her best to ensure the best for everyone.
How do you do this:
Want to go a step further? Get rid of the 3 week holiday and allow people to take whatever holidays they need. They just might surprise you when they have that opportunity to impact their family and their work based on personal needs. May some disappoint you – yes! And yet, many others will appreciate the chance to lead a more family balanced life. Family and work do indeed go together.