This week we wanted to add to our last blog post about addressing issues in the workforce for new dads. Dads are becoming more involved in household and parental responsibilities and instead of trying to fight it or duck and hide – it’s time the workplace kept up and starting baby proofing and we don’t mean taping bubble wrap around office desks.
A balance between work and home life is needed and with the workforce on board the transition period can be easier to navigate and deal with for new parents. We have talked about the devastating effects of PPND on new dads, mothers, children and wider society and so we know it is important to do as much as we can to offer support and programs to help parents transition. For dads who have to return to demanding jobs the stress and anxiety can be crippling.
But the effects aren’t just personal. Figures from 2012 in Australia show that health-care costs for new fathers’ depression totalled $17.97 million and the economy lost $223.75 million in productivity”.
The tech industry is notably the most forward thinking when it comes to understanding the value of paternal leave and implementing benefits. In 2015 Netflix extended its leave policy by offering unlimited paid paternal leave in the first year after a baby is born or adopted for both mothers and fathers. Companies such as Netflix understand that the best way to attract top talent is to offer flexible work schedules especially as paid parental leave becomes an important benefit for most parents and couples. Ernst & Young became the first big firms to offer coaching or new parents before, during and after the birth or adoption of their child. Large tech companies have the resources to pull something like this off but what about other industries and smaller companies?
The good news is even if you are a small business and your budget is tight you can still offer new dads understanding and flexibility. Suprex Learning Katy has a limited budget and couldn’t offer its employees full paid paternity leave without work so they offered new parents the opportunity to work at home with full pay. Companies can take initiative to directly communicate with their employees by checking in with them and asking them if they need anything from the company. An emphasis on the company reaching out to its employees is crucial in order to show support and understanding and reduce further stress and anxiety. Working together to find a balance between work and home life is an incredibly important component of reducing the stigma and finding effective strategies for coping and dealing with stress and anxiety during and after the birth of a baby.