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More dads back at work, but still struggling to keep balance, annual Father’s Day survey finds

CareerBuilder’s annual Father’s Day Survey shows the financial situation for US families may be improving with more dads back at work. The majority (84 percent) of working dads who have been laid off over the last 12 months say they have found full-time employment.

The survey also found that while dads still struggle with finding work/life balance, fewer are willing to give up the breadwinner role post-recession. One-third (33 percent) of working dads who are not the sole financial provider for their household said they would quit their jobs if their spouse or significant other made enough money to support the family, down from 44 percent five years ago. The survey was conducted from February 21 to March 10, 2011, among more than 800 men, employed full-time, with children 18 and under living in the household.

Working longer hours. Leaner staffs and heavier workloads have dads putting in longer hours away from home. One-in-five (22 percent) report working more than 50 hours per week on average, up from 19 percent last year. Two-in-five (39 percent) spend two hours or less with their children each day, 16 percent spend one hour or less.

Dads often have to take the office home with them after putting in a full day at the office. Twenty percent reported they bring home work at least three days per week.

Impact on relationships with their children. While dads long to be in the front row for important events for their kids, work commitments can sometimes get in the way. One-third (34 percent) reported they missed two or more significant events in their child’s life due to work in the last year and an additional 19 percent said they have checked work voicemail or e-mail during their children’s events. Twenty-one percent feel their work has had a negative impact on their relationship with their children.

“As companies downsized during the recession and work demands accelerated, we saw dads having a harder time finding balance between providing for their families financially and spending quality time with them,” said Alex Green, general counsel for CareerBuilder and father of three. “Communicating openly and planning ahead both at work and home is critical, especially when personal and professional obligations are pulling you in 100 different directions. It’s also important to cut yourself some slack. Even the best dads need a break sometimes.”

Source: CareerBuilder; www.careerbuilder.com.