Working a full-time job can leave you feeling isolated and neglectful of your family. Implement a few family-focused changes in your workplace for greater rewards at home and work.
It’s 6:30 a.m. and all’s well. I didn’t have to be at work until 8:30 a.m. Since my wife was leaving for work early, I was on my own getting the kids off to school. Time enough for a cup of coffee over the paper and a shower before waking the kids.
It’s 7:00 a.m. As I bend down to wake my five-year-old, I noticed that his hair seemed particularly unruly. Closer inspection revealed that yesterday’s gum was today’s new hair sculpting sensation.
It’s 7:30 a.m. As I stand over my son experimenting with household products that double as gum remover, my seven-year-old screams from the bathroom that the toothbrush made her nose bleed.
It’s 8:00 a.m. Obviously I was going to be late for work. Since this would be my 3rd tardy in 6 months… a nice little reprimand in my file.
Does the above story sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve experienced an equally frantic scene in your own home. Balancing work and family, especially child care, can be quite difficult at times.
With many companies having very strict and unforgiving policies, is it any wonder so many people are seeking a work at home lifestyle? Is it really so hard to understand why corporate America loses millions of dollars each year due to low worker productivity and high absenteeism?
In a study conducted by the Ford Foundation, it was found that morale improved and absenteeism dropped 30% when employees were allowed to become work and family focused. Additionally, customer response time was reduced and project deadlines were met more often.
How was this accomplished? Simply by allowing employees to implement changes based on their own ideas for a balanced life. One change that is popular with workers is allowing flexible work hours.
Perhaps some of you find yourself trying to perform the difficult juggling act of maintaining gainful employment while also meaningfully attending to a family.
Why not try to affect some changes in your workplace? Why not convince your boss of the benefits available from letting employees become work and family focused?
Have the courage to suggest your ideas for improvement. Most employers are hungry for ideas that improve work conditions and employee morale.
Here are some pointers:
- Form a think tank and get ideas from the group on ways to improve working conditions.
- Talk to people in other companies related to your field. Do they have employee friendly policies? Get their suggestions on making changes in your company.
- Talk to influential people in your company and ask for their suggestions and support for your ideas.
- You are more likely to be noticed if it’s apparent you have thought your ideas through. Write a proposal detailing your ideas, and request a one month trial period.
- Stay open and be willing to accept more responsibility to implement changes.
- Keep your immediate supervisor in the loop. Your supervisor can be your most valuable asset.
These pointers should get your cause rolling. And don’t be surprised if you suddenly develop a large following of supporters. That’s when the ideas really get to flowing!
So what are you waiting for? If you have minor toothbrush emergencies, and if your company is not work and family focused, why not WAKE UP your company, and show them what it’s like to “bring your family” to work!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.