It’s Men’s Health Week from 11-17 June, an annual event that seeks to raise awareness about health issues affecting men. This year the focus is on diabetes, but previous years have looked at waistlines, stress and work and health issues.
Talking Talent, a coaching consultancy leading the gender diversity agenda is marking this week by highlighting the challenges and pressures facing new Dads at work and calling on employers to provide a more supportive and flexible working environment.
Last year, Talking Talent conducted research on the subject of ‘Burnout’.
It found that almost three in five (57%) of all workers felt worn out by their work and their working environment, rising to over two-thirds (67%) of working parents. This issue was most pronounced in working fathers. 72% said they were physically and emotionally worn out by their work and working environment, compared to 51% of men who do not have children.
Rob Bravo, Director at Talking Talent says,
“While the take up of shared parental leave is on the rise since it came into force in 2015, large numbers of new dads still only use their statutory paternity leave and the odd bit of annual leave to cope with the life changing event of becoming a parent.
“Many are struggling to juggle the demands of parenthood and work. Men can feel that cultural perceptions surrounding working fathers prohibit a healthy discussion around balance and flexibility. This is leading many working dads to become stressed out, which can have a long -term impact on their health and wellbeing.”
Rob Bravo says new dads need more support at work during this period of their lives and help themselves, but employers need to better understand the issues affecting new working fathers and introduce more flexibility into the workplace.
Bravo says, “New Dads should be actively seeking flexible working arrangements that will allow them to be there for their children in their early years. Employers also need to be more supportive of working dads. Compressed hours, flexible start and finish times, and more willingness for regular days worked from home (without judgement and snarky comment) can all help dads better support their partners and can actively deliver a more egalitarian approach to parenthood.
“There are many organisations who support flexible work options, but this is a shout out to those managers and leaders who have new dads in their teams to not simply pay lip service to idea of true agile working practices but instead to be enablers and even better, champions of flexible working at a time when parents need it the most,” adds Mr Bravo.