With the birth of the new Prince of Cambridge, the world has also welcomes its newest famous working mum, the Duchess of Cambridge. While Kate will have it a bit easier than most with a staff, the self-proclaimed hands-on mum will still have her royal duties to perform, which will entail juggling work and baby time.
Kate and William have joined a legion of working parents who try to balance outside obligations with family life. Even with babysitters on tap and household help, Kate and William will still juggle the associated emotion tussle of leaving their baby to go out to work – whether it’s the opening of a new hospital wing or a charity luncheon, it’s still time away from her little one and part of their working obligations.
65 per cent of Australian women who are working mums – a number that has increased from 55 per cent in 1991 – an in Australia, like the UK, this number continues to rise. This increase is also seen in the number of working dads who are now moving to flexible work to take on the child minding and raising duties.
Employers are also embracing the changes – and it’s not just smaller business. The big brands are starting to realise the talent pools out there. Even large employers like the Commonwealth Bank and Optus are looking to recruit mums and dads for roles with flexible hours.
There are many people who have taken time off to have kids who have valuable skills and experience. Statistics show if an employer can provide flexibility to accommodate family obligations, such as school hours, this group of employees is intensively loyal. For employers that means lower staff turnover rates and lower recruitment costs and downtime.
It seems there are benefits all round. Companies using flexible employees can ramp up hours in times of higher need and scale it back when it’s quieter meaning staffing costs, overall, decrease as well.
Flexibility in working arrangement also means less stress for the parents. Let’s face it; anyone who has been a working parent knows the emotional struggle of deciding between spending time with the kids and having to work. Balancing the various school requirements, whether it’s being a school concert or being able to be involved in a reading group at school, with work obligations, is a juggling match. There’s is a fair serve of guilt that goes with it.
As a mum I understand wanting to be at every one of my child’s school events or be there to give him cuddles when he’s got the sniffles, but, in the back of your mind, there’s always the other things you ‘should’ be doing, and vice versa. Regardless of the help the Duchess of Cambridge has, she’ll still have those same feelings when she recommences her royal obligations.
While it’s a bit more difficult for those of us who don’t have a household of helpful staff, it seems Kate and William will still need to find that balance. Thankfully, some of our more forwarding thinking employers are seeing this need too.
Written by Fiona Anson, Founder and Director of Workible
Workible is a mobile and social recruitment platform for flexible workforce industries, catering to the 6.7 million flexible workers in Australia. Workible allows job seekers to list a profile and join talent and industry pools according to their skills and experience. Employers use Workible to tap into those pools of job seekers when they need to find staff fast. For more information visit www.workible.com.au.