Every term when school holidays roll around, the hot shoe shuffle begins for families everywhere.
And by that I mean: parents devote endless time and energy to working out how they can best juggle work and schedules and childcare in order to accommodate having their kids home from school.
Personally, my family is lucky, as our jobs are flexible. A mix of shift working, working from home, taking our daughter to the office and schlepping her around with us to appointments ensures we can work right through.
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But not all parents are so lucky. Some have to invest in expensive after-school care programs. Others have to call in all the favours with friends, family and relatives. Others still are forced to take time off work – often unpaid – in order to care for their kids during the three months or so of school holidays each and every year.
The juggle is real. The struggle is real.
But it could be about to get a whole lot less chaotic!
Engineering firm AECOM is shaking things up with a brand new pilot program that gives employees 12 weeks’ annual leave per year. The aim is for the leave to be taken at the same time as the school holidays, so that engineers – both male and female – can better manage work and family.
They haven’t shared just how they will manage when their workforce suddenly drops for those periods throughout the year, but, details details.
This is such an exciting, positive and thoughtful solution to an ever-growing problem.
All people, not just parents, are striving for work-life balance. Trying to manage careers with family commitments (and do it well) can feel impossible, but also for people who aren’t parents, the idea of a job that comes with three months’ of leave per year seems pretty darn appealing.
Can you imagine how much happier, more productive and generally more content we would be as a society, if we were this well-rested? This rejuvenated? This balanced?!
The AECOM roles are offered with a paypacket equal to 83 per cent of the full-time load (an amount that I’m sure most of us can agree is, well, agreeable).
Let’s hope that the trial run is so ridiculously successfully, other organisations can’t help but follow suit.