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When we first experienced lockdowns due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we saw a significant shift in who performed “domestic labour” tasks within families such as household-related chores (e.g. cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc…) and childcare. Traditionally, women spend much more time performing these tasks than men. Although, during lockdowns, we saw a significant increase in men performing household tasks – e.g. 58% increase in childcare. This is not surprising because parents were largely working remotely from home, regardless of gender. Further, the research and our work show that “modern working dads” want to be present and involved as parents and partners.
More than two years into the pandemic, organizations are paying more attention to supporting their employees both personally and professionally. Research shows that well-being and safety are the new drivers of workplace success. At ScaleHR, we are working with our clients to tweak their HR strategies to focus on supporting their employees’ overall well-being (check out Gallup’s model for wellbeing; the 5 essential elements).
Even though mothers are still spending significantly more time on domestic labour tasks than fathers, we know that fathers are spending more time on these tasks than ever before. This means organizations need to support the “whole employee” including support for fathers. ScaleHR founder, Jeff Waldman, is a father of 3 boys and has always gone against traditional statistics and societal norms regarding domestic labour – he has some pretty mad cooking skills (his boys love his shrimp, scallop, parmesan, and vegetable pasta) and takes care of laundry, cleaning, childcare, and more. As an entrepreneur, Jeff has seen many of his male peers who are fathers take on more of the household burden than ever before.
The topic of working dads needs to be an integral part of modern HR strategies. They make up a significant population of your employees and their wants and needs are changing. Working dads are being more active in domestic labour activities; playing a major role in what is traditionally considered “female-dominated work”. For further reading, please take a look at www.daddilife.com, a collaborative project between Deloitte and Harvard Business Review, and the video below.