My first book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home (Motivational Press, 2015), will launch this summer in time for Father’s day.
The book is written, has been edited and copy-edited, and is now undergoing formatting. The gears of publicity are snapping into motion. Meanwhile, I am thrilled to unveil the cover design. Also, here’s a quick excerpt from Chapter 4: The Ins and Outs of Workplace Flexibility:
When we had our first son, we decided my wife would stay home. But I didn’t make enough in my job to make that work. I took a different job with better pay, but it required a two hour daily commute. This quickly became too much for me, but I kept at it for the sake of the family. After a while, I went to my boss and worked out an arrangement so I can work from home three days a week. She was super-supportive of the idea, and it’s worked well for the office. It’s worked great for my family too, and my performance at work, if anything, has gotten better, since I’m not as stressed and am not wasting so much time on the road.
I asked my boss if I could take a half day off so I can be home with my daughters for the afternoon – and even offered to log in from home if needed. But, even though there was no particular work emergency, I got the managerial middle finger! What does it say when an employer denies your request for time you have to use before the end of the year and you offer to LOG INTO WORK ON YOUR VACATION TIME if needed? I think I need to spruce up my resume.
In the modern workplace, most jobs don’t need to be performed exclusively, or even mostly, at the office. But most of us still have to be at the office most of the time during traditional working hours.
Sometimes, all we need to make our work-family juggles work better is just a little help from our employers. Just compare the quotes from the two dads at the start of this chapter. One was able to co-create a great solution with his boss – a real win-win. The other has a bad boss standing in his way, leading to a lose-lose situation.
The engrained workplace tradition of chair-time is hard to overcome. “All in” work cultures are pretty well entrenched, and this leads even well-meaning supervisors to hold onto control instead of seeing the possible benefits of more flexible work. And sometimes, we internalize these concerns and wind up trapping ourselves.
Lots of working dads have benefitted from working alternative work schedules, but, for the most part, companies will not come to us to ask us about our needs for flexibility. We have to take the first step. This can be difficult, but most good things in life are.
In this chapter, we’ll examine some of the most common forms of workplace flexibility, and examine how applicable each solution could be to our work-family juggle. We’ll explore some ways to analyze the family-friendliness of our workplaces. We’ll also consider that we all have different orientations to balance – some prefer to separate work and family, others thrive on integration. Of course, we’ll have several exercises and assessments at the end of the chapter.
More excepts and announcements to come.
What do you think of the cover? the excerpt? Let’s discuss in the comments.
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