Americans say they want more time with their families. The truth is, they'd rather be at the office. I. Some facts about work: A. Men average 48.8 hours p/week B. Women average 41.7 hours p/week C. 56% of women w/children between 6 and 17 work full time D. 43% of women w/children under 6 work full time Source: Families and Work Institute in New York E. In a National Survey, workers were asked: Would you prefer a shorter work week, a longer one, or your present schedule? 6% present schedule 28% longer hours 10% shorter week F. 1/3 of fathers and 1/5 of mothers labeled themselves "workaholic" and 1 in 3 said their partners were. II. If parents want less work than why don't they take the opportunity to reduce their time? A. Hypothesis: Can't afford it The data suggests however that the best-paid employees are least interested in part-time or job-sharing and the workers that earned the least were most interested. Furthermore, professional women go back to work after childbirth as quickly as low-income mothers B. Hypothesis: People are Working Scared - they're afraid of being laid off. When surveyed however, virtually no employees said that they worked long hours for fear of getting layed off C. Workers don't know about family friendly policies When surveyed however, workers were not only aware of the policies but were proud to work for a ‘prgressive' company. The Paradox: workers at the company weren't protesting the time bind. They were accomodating to it. III. WHY? Work has become a form of "home" and home has become "work." We usually think that home is where most people feel the most appreciated, the most truly "themselves", the most secure, the most relaxed. We are used to thinking that work is where people feel like "just a number," where they have to "act," where they are least secure and most harried. New Management techniques (TQM) have transformed the workplace into a more appreciative, personal sort of social world. Meanwhile at home, divorce rates have risen, and emotional demands have become more complex. 59% of workers feel there "performance" in the family is "good or unusually good," while 86% rank their performance on the job this way. Shift from Frederick Taylor's principles of scientific management to Deming's TQM Taylor's view: managers should coerce the worker's mind and body, not appeal to their heart to increase productivity. The worker is de-skilled, replaceable and cheap, and as a consequence feels bored, demeaned and unappreciated. Deming: modern techniques are participatory. Companies train workers to make their own work decisions and have moral and financial incentives to use their new empowered status. Companies recognize accomplishments. Workers talk about "belonging to the Amerco family" wear their TQM pins, or "High Performance Team" T-shirts. Production teams get together outside of work. Workers may take courses in "dealing with anger" "How to Give and Accept Criticism". At home, who gets a recognition ceremony for a job well done? Where are the courses on "Dealing with your child's disappointment in You". TQM calls for "re-skilling" the worker in an "enriched" job environment while parents are being de-skilled at home. Amerco workers have not only turned their offices into "home" and their homes into workplaces; many have also begun to "taylorize" time at home. Worktime has become hospitable to sociability. At home however, workers are forces to be increasingly time-conscious and efficient One strategy: "quality time." Premise behind QT is that the time we devote to relationships can somehow be separated from ordinary time. The hope is that by scheduling intense periods of togetherness, we can compensate for an overall lossof time in such a way that a relationship will suffer no loss of quality. It's a transfer of the cult of efficiency into the home. Instead of nine hours a day with a child, we declare ourselves capable of getting "the same result" with one intensely focused hour. Advertisers of products aimed at women have recognized this new reality and its opportunity to sell products. Children often protestt the pace, deadlines, grand irrationality of "efficient" family life. The tantrums and protests, while part of childhood itself, are a form of plea for more family time, more control over what time there is. This all adds to the feeling that home is hard work. IV. How do parents cope: 1) Downsizing life: avoid confronting the reality, minimize their ideas about how much care a child, a partner, or they really need. They make do with less time, less attention, less understanding and less support at home than they once imagined possible. The "emotionally downsize" life. 2) Buy themselves out of it This effects women especially. They absorb the work-family speed up more than they resist it, but they still shoulder most of the workload at home. They still represent in people's minds the heart and soul of family life. They are the most likely to be tempted by the new "time saving" goods and services and feel most guilty about it. Ex. Playgroup Connetions 1-800 Grandma Please! "Kindercare" ad Kids birthday parties Creative Memories Women face the moral question of what it means to be a good mother. 3) Potential Selves fantasy creations of time-poor parents who dreamed of living as time millionaires. Women are discovering a great male secret - that work can be an escape from the pressures of home, pressures that the changing nature of work itself are only intensifying. The stripped-down home and the neighborhood devoid of community are simply losing out to the pull of the workplace. V. MACRO TRENDS: 1) increase of women in the workplace 2) increase in job mobility 3) more working women have absorbed the views of a "real career," far more than men have taken up their share of the work at home. The "male world of work seems more honorable and valuable than the "female" world of home and children. VI. WHO PAYS THE PRICE? CHILDREN "Compared with the previous generation, young people today are more likely to underperform at school; commit suicide; need psychiatric help; suffer a sever eating disorder; bear a child out of wedlock; take drugs, be the victim of a violent crime." Hewitt, When the Bough Breaks: The Cost of Neglecting Our Children.
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