Sir Richard Branson got a lot of love last week for announcing a new policy giving up to a year of paid parental leave to moms and dads.
While maternity and paternity leave have become major buzzwords, leading employers know supporting working parents doesn’t stop when they return from their leave. More and more, employers across the country and around the globe are becoming more family friendly -- and that means not only expanding benefits to include programs that make moms’ lives easier, but extending those benefits to dads, as well.
As modern dads redefine their role, the business world is evolving along with them. From paternity leave, to programs designed especially for the working dad, this is not your father’s workplace.
We’re not just talking about paid paternity leave -- which is nothing to sneeze at, considering less than 15 percent of employers offer any type of paid leave for new dads. We’re talking about being able to see a doctor live online without having to go into an office and some serious flextime options, as well as networking and parent support groups predominantly geared toward moms until now.
Here’s a look at five ways companies are taking care of dads.
- Affinity Groups
New moms aren’t the only ones who could use a little help figuring out how to make work-life balance work as a new parent. That’s why, over the past few years, there has been a rise in dad-centric affinity groups, along with “new mom” groups opening their doors to involve dads. For example, Twitter, which offers new dads 11 weeks of paid paternity leave, also helps these new parents with the transition through a “Dads on Leave” roundtable inviting dads to chat about and share their experiences.
- Flexible Work Arrangements
Once the baby arrives, dads have a host of new responsibilities -- from diapers, feedings and doctor’s appointments to, later, school conferences, recitals and ballgames. To help working dads successfully integrate work and life, many employers are adopting flexible work policies that allow parent employees to be present and engaged both at work and at home. Tech companies are famous for their flexible work arrangements, but it’s not an industry-specific work perk. PwC encourages employees to take advantage of work from home options. According to Fatherly's list of best places to work for new dads, Goldman Sachs even provides expectant fathers with a coordinator, who helps arrange their flex time, paternity leave and maximize their benefits.
Read More About Making Flex Work Work
- Outsourcing Everyday Tasks
An increasingly popular work perk, especially among Millennials and younger employees, is the ability to outsource tasks, like grocery shopping, housekeeping and laundry services. Many companies are offering on-site dry-cleaning and laundry pickup, while others are connecting employees with concierge services and all kinds of mobile and web-based options for outsourcing chores. Discovery has a concierge service to help employees with tasks like grocery shopping and home maintenance. Many employers of choice offer Care.com as a benefit for their employees, providing access to millions of tutors, housekeepers, pet sitters and child and senior care providers.
Learn About Care.com's Workplace Solutions
- Mobile Medical Consultation
Taking convenience and outsourcing to the next level is a very cool benefit catching on among companies, including Bank of America, is the ability to see a doctor online or via phone -- saving you the time of heading into a doctor’s office. Bank of America, within its health insurance coverage utilizes TelaDoc which gives employees 24 hour access to a doctor with either telephone or video chat consultations to quickly diagnose and call in prescriptions if needed, saving valuable time.
- Child Care Assistance
Finding and budgeting for child care is one of the biggest challenges for working families. The largest household expense for many families, child care can be a major source of employee stress for moms and dads, who often schedule around their children’s care arrangements. With that in mind, leading employers have found that lending a hand with child care -- be it through mitigating the expense or connecting families with reliable care -- can drive productivity, engagement and loyalty, while cutting down on absenteeism and turnover. Best Places to Work lists are filled with companies that provide care assistance benefits, from tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to professional services firms like EY and PwC.