04:42am Saturday 18 November 2017

Men at work: study probing fathers' work-life balance

Ashlee Borgkvist, PhD student from the University of Adelaide’s School of Public Health, wants to know about fathers’ experiences using flexible work arrangements.

“The Australian work culture often depicts the ideal worker as someone who has no outside commitments but the reality is that everyone, particularly parents, has a life outside of work,” says Ms Borgkvist.

“In my research I want to hear from fathers from a broad range of organisations, varying levels of responsibility, and even business owners, about how they balance work and family-life.

“I want to know more about the various flexible work arrangements currently offered and what fathers’ experiences are with those arrangements,” she says.

“And I hope fathers will also share with me their view of the workplace culture and how that influences their use, or otherwise, of flexible arrangements.”*

Ms Borgkvist says she wants to understand the potential barriers to a good work-life balance and explore ways for employers to better support fathers.

“Studies suggest that when men take advantage of flexible work arrangements they are healthier and happier,” says Ms Borgkvist.

“It has also been shown that when a father takes time off work after a child is born, they are more engaged in the child’s development, which has a positive impact on both the father and the child,” she says.

“When fathers have a constructive work-life balance, their partners can also feel more supported to return to work.”

Following the completion of her study, Ms Borgkvist will aim to make recommendations about initiatives that organisations can implement to improve work-life balance for fathers.

Study participants needed

Working men over the age of 18, who have at least one child between the ages of one and 12, are invited to participate. For more information, email ashlee.borgkvist@adelaide.edu.au or call 0401 844 702.

*The research will not identify individual participants or employers.


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