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As a parent myself, I know it’s hard to juggle work and family. This is why you’ll want to check out this blog post for six baby-friendly policies your company can offer to show employees that you love kids! Some of the topics covered include maternity leave, breastfeeding, paternity leave, flexible hours and more.
Having a work-life balance has become a priority in the UK. This means allowing your employees sufficient time away from work for weekends, national holidays, and annual leave to spend more time with their families, chill out, and travel to exotic places.
According to US News & World Report, flexible companies are likely to retain happy, enthusiastic workers for longer when it comes to variable work hours. So if successful companies, including Nestlé, Purina, Facebook, and MITRE Corporation, do so, we should follow their example.
Our Guide to the Top 6 Baby-Friendly Policies
We can plan how we spend time with family, chill out, and travel to exotic places. But, unfortunately, babies are not so willing. Instead, they can arrive unexpectedly, demand food when they want it, catch all types of childhood illnesses, and go when they want to.
They need their mothers near them. So here are six baby-friendly policies to prove to your employees you love kids, so they, in turn, will think you are a tasty employer.
- Flex Time — Putting a system in place that allows employees to work their hours when they want to — within agreed limits — is a beautiful way to help parents with babies meet both sides of their obligations. There are various options open.
- Freedom for employees to set their schedule
- Choosing how many days a week they want to work
- Switching from weekend breaks to mid-week breaks
- Working core hours with the freedom to flex outside
Flex-time is an excellent solution for expectant mothers who need to visit their gynae and young mums to go to ante-natal clinics.
2. Job Share — Allowing two employees with complementary skills to share a job works excellent with young parents because it gives them more time to bond with the baby during early, critical months. Again, both parties score because
- Employees can hold onto the position they want and come back to it
- Employers don’t lose out on their training investment in their talent
Job-sharing needs careful management to meet both parties’ aspirations. If not, we could end up with one-and-a-half employees — a difficult thing to explain to an accountant trying to balance a budget, not to mention a baby!
3. Part Time Switch — In the third semester and during the first few years of life, the baby can demand so much of mum’s attention that a regular job is just too much for her on top of everything else. At the same time, she needs the money and the variety the job brings to her life.
She may also have a scarce combination of experience and skills you would not easily replace. Here are some options you might consider
- A temporary switch to part-time for, say, the critical first six months
- A longer-term arrangement working shorter hours than standard
These are both great ways to help a mother — or both parents — find a perfect work-life balance between raising a family and affording it.
4. Work From Home — Any job done on a computer can be done anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This is the principle behind freelancing and the perfect solution for one or both parents if they want 24 / 7 access to their children.
They are finding ways to make this work should convince your employees that you do like kids. Inevitably there are sacrifices and compromises. Some employees may find they cannot adapt to this work-life balance. Their children may also not understand why mum and dad cannot play with them all day long.
5. Becoming a Parent — Maternity, paternity, and adoption leave are legal rights in the UK. Here is up-to-date information for Dads and Mums. It is good to work out the details in advance and have a contingency plan if the timing turns out differently.
In the case of maternity, paternity, and adoption leave, how you apply the rules is critical to your workforce relationship. They know you have to do it. The flexibility you allow within reason is the decider when it comes to how you feel about kids.
6. The Office Party — Having babies and young kids ‘on the team’ is a game-changer when it comes to office parties at year-end. You cannot expect parents to leave their babies independently, and a noisy bar is likely to upset keep them awake.
You do not just have to be a baby-friendly manager/business owner. The office party environment must be kid-friendly too. But, while you are about it, why not encourage everyone to bring their children. Make it a family affair where all are welcome, and things are less likely to get out of hand.
What are your thoughts on making the office a more family-friendly environment? Have you tried any of these ideas to make it happen yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below. If nothing else, we hope this article has given you a new perspective and some practical tips for accommodating kids at work. We can’t wait to hear how things go!