Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is Australia a 'un-family friendly' nation?

Is Australia a 'un-family friendly' nation? What do you think?

Despite Government initiatives and all sides of Parliament claiming to be working hard for a better deal for working families, I can't help but stop and ask myself are we by nature a 'family friendly' nation? And if we're not, what implications does that have for all Australians?.

I think we can agrue that there's plenty of data to suggest that Australia isn't the family friendly nation it perhaps likes to think it is.

What makes Australia un-family friendly and what should we do about it?
Let's talk some facts...

Approximately 65% of Australian households have two parents working and 41% of all employed people care for a child or another adult. In comes the cost of child care. Australian families today face rising child care costs and how this is best funded and controlled by Government is it seems, endlessly hotly debated by all sides of Politics. And while we sit back and debate the best idea to alleviate the burden on families, up go the care costs. This year my family child care costs are more than our mortgage. Is is time we looked into tax deductable child care?

2. According to some research, Australians work longer hours than any other OECD country (other than Korea). Australia has the fastest growing working hours in the OECD (31% of Australian’s work more than 48 hrs a week). And approximately a third of Australians don’t use their annual leave. How can we be working smarter not harder as a nation?

3. Corporate Australia is relied upon far too heavily to create pockets of family friendly environments for their own organisations which is supposed to address the individual's 'work life balance' issues. But is that really realistic and what should we being doing as individuals to create and make our own lives more family friendly? This requires us as individiduals to stand up and decide what is really important to us and what can I do control and do differently to ensure that my family needs are not unfairly compromised? Fear not, Government and Corporate Australia has a role to play too. It needs to equip us with effective policies and tools necessary to support families self determine and self manage their own work life balance solutions more effectively.

What could Australia be doing to become a more family friendly nation?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dads@Work – new service helping dads balance work and family

Increasingly men want to be active fathers but the demands of the workplace for executives are higher than ever. Parenthood is a time of great change and this can create stress that can affect business performance.

A recent study has identified that for fathers in dual career families with young children:

•65% would refuse a job or promotion if it had a negative impact on their family life.
•25% had actually made a decision on this basis.
The challenge for businesses and executives is to identify ways to support the both business needs and personal wellbeing.

Executive Dad is a coaching program aimed at Leaders who are balancing business and family responsibilities. The program identifies the areas of business and family life that require attention providing the space and time to create plans that will enhance personal and professional wellbeing and effectiveness.

Coupled with the Executive Dad program is a series of lunch and learn workshops on topics of interest to fathers in the workplace including the transition to fatherhood, work-life balance strategies and personality & parenting. Find out more.