In the United States, Australia and Canada, April 23 will be Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day. But given our changing economy and workplace, is one day enough to improve the bonds between parent and child?
Originally created to give girls a chance to “shadow” their parents in the workplaces women have so often been excluded from, Take Your Kid to Work Day, as it’s often called, was expanded in 2003 to include boys as a way to help all kids see “the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life.”
It’s a nice ideal, but it isn’t much of a reality, at least in many industrial countries.
Americans spend an average of 1,788 hours a year at work. Most parents with full-time jobs will spend almost two-thirds of their day working and sleeping, leaving little time for anything else.
Hopefully your country is a little better at balancing work/home. Finnish workers, for instance, spent 1,666 hours on average at work in 2013 that’s 122 hours or 3 full weeks less than their American counterparts. Don’t be jealous: German workers only averaged 1,388 hours at work in 2013.
Chances are wherever you live your kids already see you at work. A 2012 survey found that 60 percent of Americans are email accessible for 13.5 hours a weekday with an extra 5 hours on the weekend.
Given the extraordinary demands work makes on us, perhaps you can make a demand on your work to be a bit more flexible. Given that we’re nearly always accessible, why can’t parents plan around their kids’ schedules and get some work done?
Activities like sports, dance, karate and other arts offer parents a chance to be an active observer of their kids while getting some work done on a mobile PC or device while their children are being supervised by another adult.
Given that 70 percent of millennial use their own devices for work, it’s likely that younger parents already do this to some degree on their phones and tablets. But they’re likely not thinking about potential data leakage that can occur, especially when using public Wi-Fi built on old technology that could expose your identity and possibly even your email.
But with security and a virtual personal network — like our Freedome VPN — you can be about as secure in the office as you’re out in the world seeing how your kids work, as they get another chance to see you.
[Image by Wesley Fryer | Flickr]
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