Balancing a full-time job and raising kids is a tough juggling act in itself, but its magnified in a culture that doesn’t give extensive parental leave and expects employees to act like they’re on call even if they’re not getting paid. This is, of course, multiplied if you’re a single parent navigating the work-life balance on your own.
Sadly, even with increasing open dialogue around parenting in the work place and the ways the US pales in comparison to other countries when it comes to supporting working mothers (and single fathers), the issue of demanding bosses and unflexible workplace culture persists.
So, when the single father and president of the digital agency Wunderman Chicago, Ian Sohn wrote a post on LinkedIn about the workplace culture he cultivated for parents, it immediately went viral.
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He wrote about how he doesn’t need to interrogate his employees about their personal lives, and he doesn’t hold expectations for them to be available to his every whim:
He went on to share that he resents how infantilized the workplace has become, and how employees are often manipulated into apologizing and over-explaining their lives to demanding bosses. The lack of trust, he wrote, is deeply unhealthy for all parties.
He finished his post by expressing gratitude for the transparent and understanding bossess and employees he’s encountered over the years, and shared that a negative situation with a former boss helped shape his current outlook on parenting in the workplace.
His post was quickly met with gratitude and recognition from fellow parents, and tired employees in general.
Hopefully, as the public conversation about the balance of work and parenting (and life in general) persists, so will the gradual shift in workplace culture.