Transitioning Well are proud to have partnered with Di Mario Research to identify and further explore, the challenges that working fathers face. COVID-19 has been an ideal time for researchers to learn more about this group, their experiences in the workplace and at home, and the types of support that they need to be able to create sustainable work-life wellbeing.
Taken together we spoke to over 100 working fathers, and the questions asked covered a range of topics, including the allocation of household responsibilities, hours worked, changes to work roles and responsibilities during COVID-19, and the types of supports that are available and/or needed.
Data collected indicates that the ‘COVID-19 experience’ has given working fathers an opportunity to re-evaluate their priorities, take on additional responsibilities (including childcare and household work), and, most importantly, has made them examine their existing workplace arrangements and role, and expectations (of themselves and others).
Respondents placed great value on the wellbeing of their families, and therefore appreciated any support provided by their workplace that helped them to support themselves and their partner and child/ren. The feedback indicates that men want to create a better work-life balance, and need the support to be able to do so. Overwhelmingly, working fathers want to be able to access more flexible work arrangements, and become more engaged with their family experience – transitioning from a ‘provider’ role, to a ‘contributor’ role.
The research results will be used to assist us as we continue to create strategies and recommendations on how to better support organisations and their people. Once businesses have a clearer understanding of men’s experiences, and the types of support that they are seeking out, employers will be enabled to better support their working fathers and consider their unique set of needs and challenges.
Organisations that support their working fathers as they juggle work and family life, are likely to see improved productivity and increased levels of engagement. Forward thinking businesses have an opportunity to create sustainable change, and through offering understanding, raising awareness of the unique challenges, and providing specialised support services, can have a significant positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of working fathers through COVID-19 and beyond.