For many employees, particularly women, the workday doesn’t end when they log off their computer and stop answering emails. It changes. During their “second shift,” they’re taking care of their children and aging parents, getting a meal on the table, and managing any number of other household obligations.
These second shift duties are unpaid, of course, and can often get in the way of the self-care required for people to feel their best. While this imbalance can make a huge impact on their (paid) work performance and engagement, it also leads to higher levels of stress and stress-related health conditions like mood disorders, heart disease, and diabetes.
Let's take a closer look:
- In 2015, 70% of moms with kids younger than 18 were in the labor force, up from 47% in 1975. (dol.gov)
- Mothers are the primary breadwinners in four-in-ten U.S. families, compared with 11 percent in 1960. (dol.gov)
- Over the past 20 years, highly educated women have experienced particularly dramatic increases in motherhood. In 2014, 80% of women ages 40 to 44 with a Ph.D. or professional degree had given birth, compared with 65% in 1994. (Pew Research)
- In 2016, moms spent around 25 hours a week on paid work, up from nine hours in 1965. At the same time, they spent 14 hours a week on child care, up from 10 hours a week in 1965. (Pew Research)
- Women do 2.6 times the amount of unpaid care and domestic work that men do. (unwomen.org)
- Among the 12% of parents who are also providing unpaid care for an adult, moms spend more time than dads on caregiving activities. (Pew Research)
- Women have higher incidences than men of certain mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. They also experience more work-related burnout than men. (Eaton et al. 2012; academic.oup.com)
This is why more employers are offering family-friendly benefits, like flexible hours, the ability to work remotely, and easy-to-access wellbeing resources that help them manage the key lifestyle areas of physical fitness, nutrition, sleep, stress, mental health, and even financial wellbeing.
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Employers can provide resources to help employees recover from the mind/body stressors they experience at work — and feel their best. Don’t miss 3 Reasons to Support Your Stressed-Out Employees with Whole-Person Wellbeing to learn more.