How Men Flex Report WMRI

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HOW MEN FLEX

THE WORKING MOTHER REPORT

HOW MEN FLEX: THE WORKING MOTHER REPORT 1

 Dear Friends,

 

Happy National Flex Day! For this, our second annual celebration of workplace flexibility, I’m proud to present the results of our new Working Mother Research Institute study, How Men Flex: The Working Mother Report.

This latest installment in our ongoing series of studies focuses on men, our important partners in the process of changing American workplaces for the better. For too long, flex has been considered a working mother issue only; however, today, dads spend more time caring for their kids than ever—and they need their employers to support them.

Men in our survey say they consider schedule flexibility, telecommuting and part-time work desirable and helpful and, importantly, say that they take advan- tage of their ability to use these flex programs. The freedom to leave a little early for a teacher conference or to work from home once a week makes both men and women more loyal, productive and satisfied.

I sincerely thank Ernst & Young LLP—which appears this year on the Working Mother 100 Best Companies list for the 18th time—for sponsoring this important research and helping women take the CPA exam. How Men Flex follows the publication earlier this year of Mothers and Daughters, which revealed generational trends among working mothers, and Bread- winning Moms, which studied the growing number of mothers who out-earn their spouses. And last fall, on the occasion of the first annual National Flex Day, we released How We Flex, which explored the ways workplace flexibility enables work- ing moms to pursue satisfying careers while also parenting their precious children.

This new report adds to this discussion. Please visit workingmother.com/wmri to download this and all of the Working Mother Research Institute’s important studies.

Carol Evans

President

Working Mother Media

Congratulations to the Working Mother Research Institute for completing another relevant report that furthers the dialogue on workplace flexibility. At EY, we know that creating an inclusive and flexible work environment helps meet the needs of our people, their teams and our clients. We are proud to sponsor this latest study that focuses on how men flex.

Not all that long ago, men were not often part of the conversation around workplace flexibility, but we and many others agree that their voices are also criti- cal. As our Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger said at the White House Summit on Working Families this past June: “Women don’t want to be singled out and men don’t want to be left out.”

Flexibility for all has long been a part of our culture. We support informal or day-to-day flexibility so that our people can do a variety of things, such as get to a doctor’s appointment, volunteer at a community event or attend a school play. We also support formal flexible work arrangements such as reduced schedules or teleworking.

We have made it clear that taking advantage of such benefits does not hinder career growth of men or women. Since 1993, we’ve promoted hundreds of part- ners and other executives on formal flexible work arrangements, and thousands use day-to-day flexibility to succeed at work and at home.

We know we’re not alone in understanding that an inclusive and flexible work environment will help us recruit and retain top talent, regardless of their marital or family status, or gender. More than 60 percent of our people are Gen Y profes- sionals. They are comfortable with technology, anticipate working more virtually and globally, have a greater focus on collaboration and teaming, and expect flexi- bility in hours and location. And in a recent EY study on generational differences, we found that men are actually more likely to leave a workplace if day-to-day flexibility is not offered or supported.

At EY, our purpose is to create a better working world, and that includes empowering our people to use flexibility to achieve personal and professional success. Working Mother and others have recognized our efforts by ranking us among the best places to work.

We applaud Working Mother for continuing to advance the conversation on flexibility with stories about what works and ways to do it better. We hope that the observations and insights in this report will reinforce the message that flexibility for all makes good business sense.

Karyn Twaronite

EY Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer,

Partner at Ernst & Young LLP

2 WORKING MOTHER RESEARCH INSTITUTE

HOW MEN FLEX: THE WORKING MOTHER REPORT 3

 HOW MEN FLEX

 

THE WORKING MOTHER REPORT

Who Was Surveyed

2,000 total survey participants—evenly

split between men and women

1,000 Men

1,000 Women

Average age

39

37

Average income

$67,000

$48,200

% married or

65%

61%

partnered

% single, never

28%

27%

married

% with a college

63%

58%

degree

% white

72%

75%

% with at least 1

65%

65%

child in household

% who are family

67%

31%

breadwinner

% LGBT

12%

7%

Men and Flex Snapshot

DO YOU HAVE WORK SCHEDULE FLEXIBILITY?

Yes 77% 23% No

Stay-at-Home Dad, Breadwinning Mom?

Nearly 4 out of 10 men would prefer to be a stay-at-home parent, while 8 out of 10 say

they would be comfortable with their spouse as the primary breadwinner.

Mothers and fathers should share equally in caring for their children

Mothers and fathers should share equally in daily household responsibilities

Work time and personal time should be kept separate

Couples should have equal input on how their household income is used, regardless of how much each earns

I am comfortable with the idea of my spouse/partner earning more than I do

A parent should be home with children after school

Both spouses/partners should make a significant contribution to the household income

I view my work as a career, not “just a job”

I would prefer to work even if I did not have to for financial reasons

When a mother works outside the home, it sets a positive example for her children

One spouse/partner will always have to take on more household tasks

One parent should stay at home to care for children

I would prefer to be a stay-at-home parent

4 WORKING MOTHER RESEARCH INSTITUTE

HOW MEN FLEX: THE WORKING MOTHER REPORT 5

 MEN AT WORK

 

Getting Comfortable With Flex

More than three quarters of men say they have access to workplace flexibility—and a similar number say they are very or somewhat comfortable using it.

BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYERS

(AND HOME)

The WMRI survey finds that 7 in 10 men enjoy the ability to influence their schedule and do so without fear of neg- ative consequences. For 47 percent of those surveyed, this flex comes in the form of a formal work arrangement, with 29 percent reporting that their flexible work schedule is a regular one that repeats week to week.

Stephen Lawrence works a regular flex schedule as researcher at State Street Corp. in Cambridge, MA, work- ing from home one day a week. His flex schedule began years ago as a way to free up one three-hour round-trip daily commute that left him with scant energy for his finance Ph.D thesis work, but became even more invalu-

HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU USING FLEXIBILITY?

Flex for male employees pays dividends to employers, just as it does with female ones. Across WMRI’s 11 dif- ferent categories of work life satisfac- tion metrics, men with access to flex are more likely to say they are happy and productive and have high levels of morale and loyalty, not to mention good relationships with co-workers, effective team communications and overall job satisfaction. [See “I Can Get Some Satisfaction,” below.]

Take Sabah Abernathy, a Durham, NC–based senior manager of group sales and agent service for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Sabah says he feels more motivated and part of something important because his

employer encourages workplace flex- ibility. In his father role, Sabah supports work life balance by unplugging when he’s home with his family, and as a manager he chides subordinates if they send late-night emails. “Fathers have to be more involved now with the raising of their children,” says Sabah, who has three daughters—Nambia, 15, Jasmine, 11, and Jade, 9—and a son, Ashton, 10. “Kids are under so much pressure.”

At Bain & Co.—which has seen a dramatic increase in interest in flexibility, from both job candidates and current employees—support for flex reveals itself within individual teams. Take Nirad Jain, a New York City–based partner and dad to son

Rohan, 5, and daughters Isha, 2, and Pia, born in June. Nirad’s wife, Amee, a pediatric cardiologist at an academic medical center, has a less flexible job, meaning that when Isha woke up with a temperature of 104F, Dad had to step in and stay home on an important client meeting day. His work didn’t miss a beat, however, as another partner insisted on flying to the meeting, not only to help keep the project on track, but to support Nirad’s parenting needs as well. Such support “makes me want to work harder on the professional front, to make sure I can juggle all these things. It certainly increases my productivity,” says Nirad. It also increases his gratitude: “It’s my

able when his son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. “I could look after my daughter, who was a baby, while my wife took our son to various doctor’s appointments and therapy,” says Stephen, dad to Peter, 7, and Grace, 5. As for work, he says, “I really have to work at it to make sure that I get the balance right and the communication right with everybody.”

Flexibility is more fluid for Todd Goodwin, a vice president in infor- mation management for American

Support for Flex

More than 60 percent of men say their employer encourages flex; however, 26 percent believe their

I Can Get Some Satisfaction

Like women previously surveyed by WMRI, men who have access to flexible work report

much higher levels of satisfaction across 11 different work life sectors.

nMEN WHOSE EMPLOYER COULD ENCOURAGE FLEXIBILITY, BUT DOES NOT

nMEN WHOSE EMPLOYER ENCOURAGES FLEXIBILITY

Express, who shifts his work hours to accommodate pediatrician appoint- ments or a soccer game for daughters Tyler, 15 and Madison, 12. “As more and more fathers and more and more leaders and managers are becoming parents themselves, they can relate to the need for me to leave, say, exactly at 5 or work from home a couple of days one week,” he says. “We’re all try- ing to manage the same work-family balance.”

It’s a juggling act that is reflected in how men see parenting and house- work as well. The WMRI survey finds, for example, that most men believe partners should equally share child care responsibilities (88 percent) and chores (83 percent). Notably, too, while three-quarters of the men surveyed believe that “a parent should be home

employer could do more.

WHAT IS YOUR EMPLOYER’S APPROACH TO FLEXIBILITY?

100%

The support I get from my spouse/partner in meeting demands of work

How much my opinion counts at work

My compensation relative to my contribution at work

The level of respect I get at work

The opportunity to develop my skills

The match between my job interests and the work I do

My relationships with co-workers

My job security and stability

The support I get from my co-workers in meeting family and home needs

The support I get from my manager in meeting family and home needs

with kids after school,” 65 percent feel a working mother sets a positive example for children.

Employer can and does

My employer could

It is not reasonable for my

encourage flex

encourage flex, but

employer to encourage

does not

flex, given the nature of

my work

My career prospects

6 WORKING MOTHER RESEARCH INSTITUTE

HOW MEN FLEX: THE WORKING MOTHER REPORT 7

responsibility and privilege to return those favors every chance I get.”

Employers who lag on flexibility risk losing excellent employees or fail- ing to recruit the best. WMRI finds that 54 percent of working fathers— and 47 percent of men without kids— would reject a job with frequent travel. Indeed, Jeremy Kuhlmann says that after his son was born, he appreciated how his supervisors at Ernst & Young LLP would give him plenty of notice about travel opportunities, leaving the decisions up to him. “The firm was sensitive to what travel might do to the routine that we were trying to get into with Carter,” he says. “There seemed to be a heightened sensitivity around the balance and making sure I was meet- ing all my obligations at home as well as work.”

Putting Flex to Work

Working dads use flex to help with family

responsibilities, followed by household chores.

ON DAYS WHEN YOU FLEX, HOW YOU DO YOU USE THE TIME YOU GAIN?

remembers wishing his own father could’ve spent more time at school events or interacting with the family rather than working so hard to provide them with a better life. “These moments will never come back that I’m spend- ing with my kids right now,” he says. “I want them to really believe I’m there for them when they need it the most.”

Nimesh avoids the full-time remote worker blues by driving four hours from his Edison, NJ, home to MassMutual’s Springfield, MA, headquarters two days a week. During his in-office days, he meets with team members and plans the week; on his at-home days, he works to execute the plan, all the while mak- ing himself more available to his kids. “Simple things like picking them up from school or dropping them off or being at one of their reading workshops is important to them. Making sure I’m physically around is a huge motivator for me,” he says.

Working From Home

Is Not “All or None”

Most men prefer a mix of working from home and from

the office. More than 70 percent of the men we

surveyed are satisfied with their current arrangement.

WHICH FLEX IS BEST?

Working Dads in “Balance”

While choosing the best way to flex depends on personal and professional factors, men surveyed report that one or two days of telecommuting each week works best for them. Men with this schedule report higher levels of satisfaction on almost all measures versus not only those who never work from home but also, notably, those who

twice a week. Once he gets his 4-year- old daughter and 2-year-old son (as well as his physician wife) out the door of their suburban Connecticut home, David sits down with his coffee and his laptop and gets right to work, happy to avoid a long commute.

“As our family has grown, as our work lives have grown, having two

support from colleagues in meeting personal demands (77 percent versus 55 percent) and more support from managers in meeting home responsi- bilities (60 percent versus 55 percent). They’re also more satisfied with how much their opinion counts at home

(81 percent versus 73 percent), their contribution to family finances (82

Working dads (and even more so, working dads with flex) are more likely than men in general to report feeling fulfilled, healthy and in balance. They are also more apt to say that they have a support network, spend time with friends and get enough sleep, but also that they can’t get away from work and are isolated.

n WORKING DADS n ALL MEN

work from home three to five days a week. This optimal schedule results in more men feeling “in balance” (76 percent) versus those who never work from home (43 percent), those who work from home three or four days

a week (64 percent) and those who telework five days a week (66 percent). Also interesting: Men who telecom- mute five days a week are the most stressed (even more than men with no flex at all), feeling that they can’t get away from work (58 percent), that their commitment to the job is ques- tioned (60 percent) and that they are isolated (52 percent).

For David Thompson, director of organizational engagement for phar- maceutical manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim, flex means telecommuting

days when I’m working from home has been a real boon,” says David, who starts work early so he can enjoy lazy evenings with his children, sitting on the stoop or chasing bugs. “That’s you and them exploring the world together, and I think that’s what being a parent is all about. I’m extremely lucky in that I have an extraordinary amount of flexibility in balancing home commitments.”

Men who flex are generally hap- pier with all aspects of their life than those who don’t flex. Flexers report higher levels of satisfaction in their co-worker relationships (77 percent versus 64 percent), higher levels of respect at work (75 percent versus 61 percent), higher levels of job security (70 percent versus 63 percent), more

percent versus 76 percent) and their relationship with their spouse (79 percent versus 75 percent).

And among working dads, WMRI finds that of those who flex, 85 percent are satisfied with their relationship with their children, 82 percent with their children’s prospects, 78 percent with their lifestyle as a working par- ent and 74 percent with the amount of time they spend with their children. Each of these satisfaction levels is higher than those reported by men without work flex.

Nimesh Trivedi, multicultural mar- keting director for MassMutual Finan- cial Group, says flex enables him to have time with son Aadit, 8, and daughter Aanya, 5, while they’re young enough to want to hang with Dad. Nimesh

I feel fulfilled

I feel healthy

I feel my life is in balance

I have a support network outside work and home

I am fulfilling a higher purpose through work rather than just making money

I am positive about the amount of time I spend with friends

I get sufficient sleep

I feel stressed

I cannot get away from work

I feel isolated, alone or unsupported in the community

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HOW MEN FLEX: THE WORKING MOTHER REPORT 9

PART-TIME

Part-time Hopes

Nearly 60 percent of working dads would choose part-time work if they could still have a meaningful career—but 36 percent say it’s looked down upon at their company.

nWORKING DADS n MEN WITHOUT CHILDREN AT HOME

Any Downside to Flex?

Most men feel that co-workers who flex are at least as productive as those who don’t.

Indeed, men who flex think there is much to gain with very small negative impact.

STIGMA

It improves my productivity

Meaningful part-time work, the Holy Grail to many working moms, also looms

It improves my morale/ motivation

large in the imagination of working fathers. Nearly 6 in 10 working dads say

It improves my commitment or loyalty to my organization

they would work part-time if they could still enjoy a satisfying career. But much

It improves my relationships with coworkers

2%

77%

like working moms surveyed in previous WMRI studies, 36 percent of working dads say part-time work is looked down upon at their organizations.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a stigma,” says Brian M. Wong, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman who reduced his work hours to be more present for son Damien, 5, whom he and his husband fostered for two years before adopting this year. For Brian, who serves as local practice section leader for Pillsbury’s corporate and securities group in San Francisco, reducing his hours in the notoriously hard-charging world of cor-

It improves my ability to effectively communicate within my team

Employees’

productivity

levels vary

It helps my career advancement

4%

76%

It improves my overall job satisfaction

It improves my personal stress level

It helps me manage personal/ home responsibilities

2%

87%

It increases time to fulfill personal/home responsibilities

porate law means that he’ll offer to take a work call or answer emails before or after family time with Damien—but not during. He hasn’t felt a stigma: “As long as you manage other people pretty well, there hasn’t been, for me.”

Commitment and Connection to Work

How often men work from home impacts how frequently they feel that others question

their commitment to their work. It has a similar impact on how much men

Managing boundaries is another matter. Like working mothers, working fathers report an increasing struggle with setting boundaries around work, with 46 percent reporting that their job bleeds into their personal time, compared to 32 percent of men with- out children.

Still, as men take on increasing

Knowing this, companies should: •Make sure flex programs

serve all employees. Publicize the availability of flex programs for all workers, especially men, and make

METHODOLOGY

The Working Mother Research Institute developed a survey and

feel they can disconnect from work.

THOSE WHO FREQUENTLY FEEL THEIR

THOSE WHO FREQUENTLY FEEL THEY CANNOT

COMMITMENT IS QUESTIONED BY OTHERS

GET AWAY FROM WORK

100%

100%

responsibility for hands-on parenting and home chores, it is not surprising to see them turn to flexible work arrange- ments as a way to get the job done—no matter what that job is.

CONCLUSION

For employers, the clear takeaway from this new data is the knowledge that men—especially dads—are now part of the conversation around work flex. They use it and appreciate it just as women do, and it makes them more loyal, engaged and productive employees.

sure male and female senior leaders talk about the ways they flex their schedules, so that flex is supported for everyone.

•Embrace technology to make certain that employees who flex feel connected to colleagues. Constant communication ensures that on-site workers don’t forget about or underestimate the contributions of telecommuters—men and women.

•Engage male employees in conversations about flex. Their insight should be considered in planning and executing related company policies.

fielded it nationally through a series of email blasts sent by Survey Sampling International (SSI) in May 2014. A total of 2,000 individuals submitted online questionnaires. Bonnier Custom Insights (a division of Bonnier Corporation) received and tabulated the responses, which were then analyzed by Maria S. Ferris Consulting LLC. The final results are documented in this report, which was written by the Working Mother Research Institute.

Men who

Men who

Men who

Men who

Men who

Men who

never

never

flex

work

work

work

work

flex

from

from

from

from

home 1–2 home 3–4

home 5

home

days per

days per

days per

week

week

week

Men who

Men who

Men who

Men who

Men who

Men who

never

never

flex

work

work

work

work

flex

from

from

from

from

home 1–2 home 3–4

home 5

home

days per

days per

days per

week

week

week

10 WORKING MOTHER RESEARCH INSTITUTE

HOW MEN FLEX: THE WORKING MOTHER REPORT 11

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The Working Mother Research Institute (WMRI), a division of Working Mother Media, is home to the Working Mother 100 Best Companies, the Working Mother Best Companies for Multicultural Women and the National Association for Female Executives’ Top Companies

for Executive Women, among other initiatives. WMRI produces insightful benchmarking reports as well as important research papers studying work life and the advancement of women, including How Men Flex: The Working Mother Report, to further corporate culture change nationwide.