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The struggle to balance work, family life [AUDIO]

Working and balancing a family is not always easy. A new study by Bright Horizons finds that nearly three in 10 working parents fear they could get fired because of their family responsibilities, and about one-fourth have lied for fear that those responsibilities could interfere with their job.

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Among the key findings of the study:

  • 48 percent of working parents admit one of their concerns due to their family responsibilities is that they could get fired.
  • 39 percent fear being denied a raise because of family responsibilities.
  • 37 percent fear they will never get promoted again while 26 percent worry about a demotion because of family responsibilities.
  • 22 percent worry that family commitments will cost them key projects at work.
  • 19 percent believe they won’t be invited to important meetings because of family obligations.
  • To make sure family responsibilities don’t creep into the work day, working parents report spending more than half (51 percent) of paid time off dealing with family responsibilities instead of taking a trip or relaxing at home.

“I think it really depends on the type of job a person is in,” said Anne Weisberg, senior vice president for strategy at the Families and Work Institute. “In the professional roles, where the ideal worker is available 24/7, then it’s understandable that people would feel the pressure to not always tell the truth about family responsibilities. But, more employers are understanding that people do have lives outside of work and responsibilities outside of work.”

Many companies allow employees to have flexible start and stop times in order to accommodate work and family schedules.

“There is a lot of fear based on the norms as they have been in companies, but the only way to change those norms is to increase transparency, to have these conversations and to talk about it,” Weisberg said. “In the ‘Mad Men’ era, people kept their lives private outside of work, but today, I think we need to be much more open with each other about what is going on outside of work, so we can work together to manage both.”

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