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Men and Work/Life Integration

This article accompanies Fathers Know Best.

Sunday, October 16, 2011
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A new study by WFD Consulting, in conjunction with WorldatWork's Alliance for Work-Life Progress, set out to understand two questions:

* How can organizations remove the stereotypes and barriers that prevent men from using work/life options?

* What prevents leaders and managers -- who often are men -- from supporting the use of work-life options by others?

To address these questions, WFD Consulting designed a questionnaire that was fielded by a global market-research firm to 2,312 employees in six countries: Brazil, China, India, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

These were the survey's main findings:

* The gender stereotype that men derive their identities largely from work, and women largely from family and relationships, was not supported by the study. For the most part, men and women reported comparable work identity and personal/family identity. Work identification appears to be much higher in emerging markets. Both sources of identity were highly correlated with employee engagement in the emerging markets.

* Employees are deeply stressed about financial issues and they are experiencing the consequences of the time famine.

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* While the business case for work/life has been made, a large number of employees believe they have punished for using work/life benefits or are fearful they would be. Furthermore, the attitudes of many leaders toward those who utilize work/life benefits are antiquated.

See the full study (PDF), which includes study results organized into four areas (emerging countries, developed countries, gender and leadership) as well as recommendations.

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