Being a working parent puts a strain on people’s mental health, nearly three in five (59%) survey respondents have revealed.
A report by BlckBx also found that half (51%) struggle to be mentally present at work, while a similar proportion (52%) regularly have to work in the evenings and weekends to catch up because of lost time due to family and household administration.
However, the study by the personal assistant platform discovered that working parents believe their employers are helping them more than the government, with 89% feeling supported at work.
Kath Clarke, founder and CEO of BlckBx, said: “Businesses are 10 steps ahead of the government in what they can offer working parents. But we need business leaders to be more flexible, innovative and proactive in supporting this specific group of workers.”
BlckBx suggests employers should consider supporting working parents by offering flexible working, including hybrid arrangements and job sharing. It also encourages training for managers to aid back-to-work transitions and reduce unconscious bias, which is often faced by working mums in particular.
Additionally, BlckBx advises employers to develop awareness of the mental load of parenting to build a more understanding culture with the business, create support networks for open conversation, and set the tone from the top.
In terms of career development, 63% of working parents think having children affected their professional path, while 45% feel less professionally confident since becoming a parent, rising to 48% among mothers.
Nearly four in 10 (38%) believe they are less likely to reach the position they had wanted to previously, while 23% think it will take them longer to do so.
Clarke concluded: “Working parents shouldn’t need to choose between having a fulfilling family life and a fulfilling career. The shape of working families is changing and many institutions need to realise that and catch up.
“Employers can make the difference in creating a future of work that fits the lives of working families and works in the interest of the business, building a system that works for everybody.”