New research from the US suggests companies who introduce family-friendly policies could benefit from a more productive workforce. If you’re thinking of making the office a little bit more family friendly, here are a few things to think about.
Set up on-site childcare
Providing childcare makes good business sense, whether you’re a small enterprise or large corporation. After all, happy parents equals a happy workforce.
Mothers are no longer expected to sacrifice their careers in order to stay at home and bring up children. Times are changing, so you should think about setting up on-site childcare to retain female – and male – staff.
This allows parents to work while juggling the responsibilities of being a mum or dad at the same time. They can drop in on their kids during various stages of the day, usually during breaks, to check on them.
Allow maternity leave
Giving pregnant workers time off before and after a birth is a great way to make your company much more family-friendly. But maternity leave doesn’t have to be a problem; you just need to plan ahead.
Allowing maternity leave shows your female employees that you care about them. This, in turn, makes them want to come back and make up for lost time once the pregnancy is over and the baby has settled at home.
Of course, there are many aspects to consider, not least how much pay and time off they should receive, so it’s a good idea to seek professional advice. It’s vital that you know the ins and outs of maternity leave.
Run family fun days
Nothing brings out your family side more than family fun days. These are designed to cater for your employees and their loved ones, no matter how young, bringing everyone together for a fun-filled day of activities.
You could organise a game of football or rounders, or even create a treasure hunt – the possibilities really are endless. If you have a bigger budget to play with, take your workforce and their families on a day trip.
Family fun days promote a sense of camaraderie in a relaxed atmosphere, something which ultimately leads to better productivity in the workplace. School holidays are the perfect time to hold family fun days.
Encourage workers to bring in photographs
The personal touch is important in the office, so encourage your employees to put family photographs on their desk. It helps them feel at home, plus gives them a little lift whenever they need it.
You should never underestimate the power of the personal touch. All aspects of your business – ultimately greater sales and increased revenue – could benefit from subtle personal changes here and there.
Letting workers bring in photographs shows you recognise they have lives outside of work. Pictures also make great talking points, so walk around the office and strike up conversations with your workforce about their loved ones.
Welcome flexible working
Another family-friendly working practice to consider is flexible working. There will be some days when parents cannot make it into the office, like when their child is ill, so it pays to have a backup plan in place.
Technology means we can now work from a remote location, without having to set foot inside the office. This lets employees complete what they were working on and remain contactable, even at home.
Flexible working can also be used to help parents fit work around other activities, such as picking their kids up from school, so it’s extremely beneficial, keeping both parties happy and on track at all times.