This new poll of our members, sponsored by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, finds out where you’re at in terms of work, home, family and mental health.
As we emerge from the pandemic (hopefully), we asked you to tell us how you’re feeling.
Loads of you put pen to paper (well, clicked on the survey) and we’ve been looking at the results, which we’ll aim to explore over a series of posts.
First up, we wanted to focus on mental health, one of the things that has been at the forefront of the conversation during Covid-19.
Almost 59% of respondents said that their mental health deteriorated because of the pandemic and that’s on top of the already-fragile state many of us are in. After all, 54% were brave enough to admit that being a parent negatively impacts their mental health.
But more importantly, we specifically asked you what you think employers can do to support working dads with their mental health and the replies should be a blueprint for how businesses deal with their male employees moving forward.
“Providing and promoting working dads to speak out and putting in place or promoting channels to facilitate this both within the workplace and outside of work,” said one of you.
Meanwhile, another alluded to the changes in the way we work thanks to work-from-home and hybrid practices.
“Make sure line managers are fully aware of the hours staff are putting in,” they explained. “And planning ahead to make sure extra work does not negatively impact on time at home.”
Trying to further de-stigmatise men and removing barriers seems to be key. Or, as one of you puts it more succinctly, “They can make it a safe environment for men to express their feelings and not feel like they shouldn’t have them due to being a man.”
“More training for managers and supervisors and especially HR staff,” says one person. “Acknowledge that some staff members (and managers and other senior staff) have or have had mental problems and celebrate those who cope with their problems and those who actually overcome them.”
It’s important to do more than pay lip service by directing people to wellbeing sites, or literature. And recognise that the family has fundamentally changed.
“[They need to] understand that a single working parent needs to have time and energy for their most important job of bringing up their children,” says one. “I have good support from my workplace but I feel that our society needs to shift to less days working to give more time to bringing up children.”
Another added, “Stop expecting one parent to shoulder all childcare as in modern families both parents work and it should not be a problem for a dad to ask for time off or change hours to look after their children amongst many other things.”
Above all, it’s about sharing different experiences, being open, ditching ego and putting their money where their mouth is.
Or as one of you says, “Find some way for dads to say it’s okay if we’re not coping as well as we’d like.”