Approximately 80% of households with children have parents in the workforce. That means that in your organization, there’s a high likelihood of your employees having children! And that means that there’s a high probability that they have stress in their home lives. As much as American companies are starting to pay closer attention to work-family conflict, and paid leave is becoming somewhat more common, not enough is being done to address the increasing impact that work and family stress have on each other. There is plenty of research at this point to show the effects that family stress has on employees’ performance: the more stress, the higher incidence of mental disorders, substance abuse, absenteeism, intention to quit… And negative correlations to organizational commitment, productivity, and a new term, coined by Flaxman Bond and Livheim (2013), “Presenteeism”: even while at work, difficulty focusing and concentrating on the task at hand. Distraction. If there are problems at home, employees will be thinking about those problems. Multitasking at its worst.
However, companies are able to help parents with this stress by offering employees parenting programs. In particular, the role of mindfulness, and mindful parenting, the ability to remain present and able to deal with the demands of parenting in a less-reactive way, can significantly help parents to be more present at home, to feel more in control and confident as parents. And if that is true at home, they will be more likely to be able to pay attention to what’s right in front of them: your bottom line.