Life demands of the 21st century often mean that both parents have to work at least a 40-hour week, and find the time to appropriately care for the demands of their children.
In recognition of this struggle, some employers are attempting to accommodate the workforce yet maintain productivity by providing flexible work arrangements.
A new study in the Journal of Marriage and Family examines if flexible working schemes are helping or adding to child-rearing pressure.
As a part of the investigation, experts examined how the introduction of ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) has impacted parents’ perceptions of their time.
ROWE is a philosophy associated with value in which employees are paid for results, rather than their time.
The data showed that both parents saw changes in working hours such as ROWE as a major factor to their time, yet only mothers reported increased schedule control and improved time adequacy.
However, this change was shown to be in perception only, as little change was reported in the actual time spent with children beyond evening meals.
“ROWE helped mothers feel that they were spending enough time with their children, even though it didn’t change the actual amount of time for most parents,” said sociologist Dr. Rachelle Hill from the University of Minnesota.
“Mothers who participated in ROWE and ate fewer than three meals with their children per week were able to eat one additional family meal with their children compared to mothers in traditional departments.”