“The compatibility of family and work is tough business management and not an esoteric topic,” says the head of the family research institute Wolfgang Mazal in an interview with KURIER.
“It is actually commercially negligent not to be family-friendly as a company,” he continues.
He refers to a study that compares 400 certified family-friendly companies with 400 companies without reconciliation measures. Family-friendly companies are much more attractive employers.
You can choose from a 26 percent larger pool of applicants, have 17 percent higher employee productivity, 17 percent higher employee motivation and 17 percent higher employee loyalty.
There is also the question of costs: Those who deal with employees with families in an understanding and flexible manner have 14 percent lower reintegration costs. In addition, there are 13 percent fewer absenteeism, twelve percent higher customer loyalty and eight percent lower costs for vacant positions.
Still women’s business
But how family-friendly a company is also largely influences the careers of female employees.
Because the compatibility of family and work is still a matter for women. Above all, it is mothers who are faced with the challenge of bringing everything under one roof. According to Statistics Austria, the professional engagement of men is hardly influenced by birth.
If, on the other hand, a child between the ages of one and 15 lives in the household, this results in a significantly lower employment rate for the mother. In 2020, 72.8 percent of women with children under the age of 15 only worked part-time, while the figure for fathers of children under the age of 15 was only 6.9 percent. “But that’s not necessarily just because of the bad men,” says Mazal.
Many young fathers would like to be more involved in family care, while women would like to increase their gainful employment.
“Men say in unison that they are ridiculed in the company and declared backward if they want to reduce their working hours in favor of the family,” says the genealogist.
The key to reconciliation and thus to a fair distribution of family work is the company’s understanding and appreciation for individual life situations.
“There is no silver bullet as to which measures have to be taken to improve compatibility. There is only one silver bullet, ”says Mazal. And this lies in the individual assessment of which measures are best suited to the respective industry, the catchment area and the living situation.
The herbal and tea company Sonnentor, for example, offers its employees 150 different working time models and a company kindergarten.
GRS Wirtschaftsprüfung und Steuerberatung also has a company kindergarten and offers flexible re-entry and work models.
Other companies, such as hospitals, allow their employees to do their private laundry in the company and to take lunch home for the children. It hardly costs the company anything and means enormous relief for the employees.