[Via Forbes.com] For many years, when we talked about “workplace flexibility” or “flex time,” most people really only thought it applied to working mothers. But workplace flexibility has always been something fathers value, too. And the conversation about flexible work is becoming more and more gender-inclusive.
A flexible workplace has always been important to me: early in my career as an aspiring professional, then a corporate employee, and now as a father and entrepreneur. When I worked as a corporate marketer inside a Fortune 500 company, I felt constrained by the traditional work structure and how flexibility was perceived by the organization. Ten years ago, true flexibility just wasn’t accepted. I built my own firm partly to create more flexibility for myself and others who want the same things.
In late 2015, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced he’d be taking two months of parental leave following the birth of his first child and expanded the company’s parental leave policy to grant four months of paid leave to all full-time workers (male or female). Although some companies are making stridesto support flex time for all employees, men’s desire and need for flexibility still typically receives little attention from the traditional organization.
Women and men clearly need more flexibility: In a survey by the Pew Research Center, 50 percent of working fathers said it was very or somewhat difficult to balance the responsibilities of their jobs and their families. In my view, we need to include both men and women in the conversation about work flexibility in order to expand this issue and create supportive, positive workplaces for every employee and family.