This week (16 – 22 October) is National Carers Week all across Australia. In celebration of all that carers offer we have 6 tips to support working parents (and carers in general) to utilise in the workplace.
Tips for Working Parents At Work
- Talk about your caring responsibilities openly – others might not know that you are a carer. If you are open and honest about your situation it builds awareness with your manager and your colleagues creating better understanding. It normalises the fact that some employees are also carers.
- Don’t feel guilty if you need to take time off work – if you are a carer then you may well need to use your leave to take time off work. That’s what the leave is there for so don’t feel guilty about it.
- Leaving work on time – if you need to leave work on time again – do not feel guilty. You need to set a positive example for others who may not have caring responsibilities now, but might in the future. As long as you get through your work and your manager is happy with your performance then there is no reason to feel guilty.
- Be kind to yourself – every day is not going to be perfect or go according to plan. Some days you might be late for work or late for picking up kids or relieving carers. That’s just the way it is. Be kind to yourself and accept that you can only do the best you can with what you’ve got to work with.
- Be supportive of other carers – you might notice that there is someone in your team that is new to having caring responsibilities. You might make a point of dropping them an email or making time for a 5-minute conversation. Ask them how things are going, and share your good and bad stories. You may just make a difference in their day.
- If you feel overwhelmed seek help – you shouldn’t expect to have all the answers all of the time. Most carers feel overwhelmed at some time or another so it’s only natural that you might too. There are many people you can seek help from including your manger, your HR team, your colleagues, Parents At Work, your GP, your friends and your family. Speaking about your feelings or sharing your problem will help you find the right solution and support that you need.
Want to access the Parents At Work program?
If you are interested in accessing the Parents At Work program you can speak to your manager about it. Or you can speak to your HR team about the Parents At Work program. If they don’t have a Parents At Work program then you may wish to alert them to what’s on offer – be it this or a similar program – for working parents in the organisation. You will most certainly not be the only working parent or carer who will benefit.
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