For 18 years, I had the luxury of working the hours I needed to work to get the job done. Over the last 5, I doubled down and exploited that luxury, trying to consistently be the first in the office, and last to leave. In the last 90 days, that all changed. My daughter was born.
Can you squeeze a 10–12 hour workday between the hours of 9–5 and still be a fantastic father?
As a father in 1965, a new child wouldn’t have changed your work schedule drastically. In “Another Sign that Fatherhood in the US is Radically Changing,”Emily Peck shared that 50 years ago men contributed only 7 hours a week to childcare and housework, compared with 16 hours in 2013.
Just one generation later, everything has changed.
The 2015 Harris Poll on the “Daddy Track” revealed a fascinating shift in gender roles at home, and work-family priorities. Across all categories, men outpaced women on their flexibility on changing jobs, careers, and even willingness to take a pay cut or move to ensure they were properly invested in their family.
What the study did not reveal, however, is how rethinking efficiency at work can trump the urge to give up (or change) the dream.
Becoming radically more efficient at work could be the single step-change you can make to remain “SuperDad” without disrupting your career
The pressure on men to perform at home and at work is more prevalent than ever before . “Among dual-earning couples, the likelihood of reporting work-family conflict has become especially pronounced among fathers,” according to a recent White House study on family friendly workplace policies. “60 percent of fathers in dual-earner couples reported work-family conflict, compared to 35 percent in 1977 — a 25 percentage-point increase in just one generation.”
How can men continue to have it all, and achieve work-family balance without giving up the dream?
Erin Reid, Harvard Ph.D, and professor of Organizational Behavior at Boston University, found that the men she studied fell into three distinct categories as they thought about their role within the family unit:
- Traditional — Expect their partner (wife) to own majority responsibility at home, often with a non-compromising view of their career as a key family priority.
- Adaptable — Willing to change their careers to take on more responsibility at home, sometimes at the expense of career progression.
- Efficient — Worked fewer hours and had less availability on nights and weekends, but still delivered superior results at work, and advanced their careers.
As I have navigated the first 90 days as a father, I aspire towards efficiency with a dose of adaptability, rather than absolute compromise by one spouse or the other. Can you squeeze a 10–12 hour workday between the hours of 9–5 and still be a fantastic father?
I intend to find out.
How do you drive efficiency and still manage to “stay present” at home with your young children, Dad?
Originally published at www.linkedin.com.