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Managing Work & Family:
Helping Parents Prepare for “Back to School”

Back to School

How work-life issues can cost the workplace

How many parents are employed at your company? How many of these parents have children going to school? Have you ever considered how “back to school” affects working parents?

With the arrival of September, working parents are turning their attention to “back to school”. The transition from summer to “back to school” can be a significant source of stress for parents. Suddenly they face increasing demands on their time and energy due to hectic schedules and conflicting responsibilities. Striking a balance between work and family-life can be a struggle and can potentially impact parent’s performance in the workplace.


How do stressed parents cost businesses?

Employees who must deal with work and family pressures may experience:


What your workplace can do?

Addressing work-life balance issues is a great recruitment and retention strategy. Workplaces today are offering family friendly programs, practices and policies to assist employees in managing work and family. Think about what your workplace is already doing and what improvements you could make in the following areas:

Flexibility & Time Off
  • flex time and compressed work week
  • job sharing
  • telecommuting
Information & Counselling
  • employee assistance program
  • lunch & learns
  • parenting seminars
Financial Assistance
  • extended health benefits
  • dependant care subsidies
  • post-secondary bursaries for children of employees
Workplace Culture/Environment


Facts & Stats

  • In a 2001 survey, 58% of employees reported high levels of work-family role overload which they defined as feeling rushed, drained, and overwhelmed by pressures of multiple roles
  • Employees with high work-family overload were less satisfied with their jobs, less committed to their organization and less likely to rate their organization highly compared to those employees with low work-family overload
  • In 1997, 56% of all Canadian families were headed by a dual-income couple (PDF, 1 of 7)
  • In 2001, more than 75% of mothers working outside the home indicated that they needed more time for family


Additional Resources


Other "Back to School" stresses working parents may face

Revised: August 10, 2011


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