Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

As all mothers know, the day’s work is pretty consistent with the old adage that "a man may work from sun to sun but a woman’s work is never done" CNN reported recently on a study done by

The typical mother puts in a 92-hour work week, the company concluded, and works
at least 10 jobs. In order of hours spent on them per week, these
are:housekeeper, day-care center teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry
machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive
officer and psychologist. By figuring out the median salaries for each position,
and calculating the average number of hours worked at each, the firm came up
with $138,095 -- three percent higher than last year's results.
Even mothers
who work full-time jobs outside the home put in $85,939 worth of work as mothers

One survey participant who also worked outside the home declared 119 hours of work per week. With 168 hours in a week, that leaves 49 for everthing that wasn't work, i.e. 7 per day which is what the typical night's sleep would be. If this mom took out time to eat -- let's say an hour a day. What about fitness? Did she take any time for that? Meditation? Prayer? The truth is that for many working parents, especially single parents, it pretty much feels like there is no time for anything else in your life.

The concept of work life balance seems a little meaningless against a background like that. Though it is something that more and more employers are dealing with. Clause are being inserted in collective agreements to recognize that there should be accommodations made to ensure that balance is possible. Flexible hours, home work, on site day care are examples of the types of things that might help reach this balance.

In 2001, HRDC did a study on work life balance and found that the most common problems that employees encountered in achieving any balance were:

Heavy workloads
Cultures that do not support balance
The perception that one has to choose between career advancement and balance
Constant change
Management that does not support balance
Lack of policies
Temporary work
Work-related travel

The study concluded that to reduce work-life conflict and improve overall quality of life, employers need to focus their efforts on four sets of initiatives:

increasing the number of supportive managers within the organization;
providing flexibility around work;
increasing employees' sense of control; and
focussing on creating a more supportive work environment.
And even when that happens, Mom is still going to take on all the roles described in the at home. All mom's deserve recognition for their work.

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