work life

We Should Applaud NY Mets’ Daniel Murphy for taking Paternity Leave

So many of you know, I’m not a “big” sports fan (Horns, tennis, boxing, and MMA is about all I follow .. and poorly at that), but we’ve got a big story with some HR implications coming out of sports news.

photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy put fatherhood ahead of baseball, and now, some outraged New York Sports radio hosts are outraged.

Since 2011, Major League Baseball has allowed players up to three days paternity leave, but some outraged New York Sports radio hosts say that when you’re making millions, “one day off is plenty.”

“All right, one day, I understand,” said WFAN morning host Mike Francesa. “In the old days they didn’t do that. One day, go see the baby be born, and then come back. You’re a Major League Baseball player — you can hire a nurse!”

“You get your a** back to your team and you play baseball,” added WFAN’s Craig Carton. “That’s my take on it. There’s nothing you can do anyway. You’re not breastfeeding the kid.

Read more: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/04/mets-player-daniel-murphy-s-paternity-leave-causes-controversy-101816.html#ixzz2xv5D3JLk

You know me. I’m going to have to throw out my typical “girl in HR” catch-phrase, “seriously?!?” Three days is hardly extraneous… and I find the other comments just offensive. Just because a man doesn’t birth the baby doesn’t mean that he has any less right to have bonding time with the child. These radio hosts views are just off, imho. Do they think its ludicrous for the man to be in the delivery room, to go to parenting class — I border that their comments might lead someone who doesn’t know them better that they think that birth and raising children is “woman work.” We’ve moved SO far past that.

photo credit: bavia.com

So stepping off the soap-box and let’s make the HR connection. Paternity leave. In the US, women AND men can take up to 12 weeks off to care for a newborn if they qualify for FMLA leave. Some companies go beyond that and have added additional maternity and paternity benefits to help encourage employees to take that time off by helping to eliminate some of the financial burdens of staying home to care and bond for a child. I wish I could put my hands on some updated data, but the trend is that many men don’t take full advantage of benefits that may be available to them — now the reasons for that can be anything from financial to thoughts on their place on raising children — and every combination in between.  I think that one thing that we can do in HR is to help put programs in place that will help facilitate and encourage expecting parents, regardless of gender, to take the time off that they need… if they want to. We should also applaud and speak positively about examples, such as Daniel Murphy, of men who are taking the time off and using their benefits. Parental leave is not a “working woman’s issue” anymore… its an issue of work-life balance and that is bigger than either gender alone.  We don’t need to force the choice, but provide options for people to use and make their own decisions — and don’t talk crap or be negative when people take advantage of benefits afforded to them.

As an aside, on this story Daniel Murphy takes high road while Terry Collins fires back after Mike Francesa and Boomer Esiasion question Mets’ paternity leave from NY Daily News there is a poll for readers to partipate in that asks: Do you think Mike Francesa is over the line questioning Daniel Murphy’s paternity leave? When I took it the results showed 86% YES and 14% NO.

I’m interested to see where the story develops — from a work-life, parental leave, and HR perspective — I’m sure that the story will continue to be popular over the next few days or week — but let’s try to keep the underlying point of the story developing and out front.

Making the HR connection, yours,

 

 

 

Want to see more of the story — here’s a few more links and a videos:

 

How to Have a Blissfully Unproductive Weekend

Getting some much needed rest and relaxation is on my mind (again) — This is one of my struggles as I still can’t find the balance. However, I’ve learned a few times over my working career, and once again as recently as last week, that if you don’t take the time to slow down and rest, your body will do it for you. I’ve been sick the last 13 days — twice! And while I’m starting to finally feel like “myself” I know that I largely got sick because I’d over extended myself for too long.

Still my challenge to overcome so I maintain committed to finding the balance — and sharing with you want I find. I found this great article from Debbie Woodbury with some great tips:

1. Change your mindset, if only for the weekend. If you have a workaholic, productivity-proves-validity mindset, like me, you don’t relax easily. Why not try changing your mindset for just a weekend? Everyone needs time to relax and recharge, and anyone who thinks they are productive 24/7 is just kidding themselves anyway. So go ahead, throw relentless productivity to the wind and resolve to be blissfully unproductive this weekend. You can always go back to being a crazed workaholic on Monday.

2. Unplug from your electronics. Put the stresses and obligations of the workweek on hold by separating yourself from your cell phone, tablet or laptop. Deliberately unplugging makes a statement to yourself and others, “I choose to relax and be blissfully unproductive for a few days.”

Go one step further and seek out silence. As Deepak Chopra said, “Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.”

3. Stay in the moment. As hard as it is to unplug from your electronics, it’s even harder to unplug from your monkey mind. You know what monkey mind is — the incessant chatter of worry, “shoulds,” “what ifs” and a past/future focus. When the chatter starts building, take a breath and stop. In that moment of awareness, you create a gap that allows you to recognize the noise for what it is, before it takes you away with it. Practicing “catch and release” of your monkey-mind thoughts keeps you present in the here and now and focuses your mind on one thing at a time.

4. Play. Play is not a luxury. Let me repeat. Play is not a luxury. In fact, play is vital to health and increased productivity. Spontaneous play and the fun it elicits are transformative, and happen more often when you’re in the moment. Planning play is as important as planning your meals. And play takes all kinds of forms — run through the sprinkler, have sex, read a fun book, take a hammock nap or just jump up and down! Play doesn’t have to be big and noisy. Play is whatever feeds your soul and makes you feel more alive. Go play!

5. Reconnect with loved ones. Sometimes we’re so overwhelmed with obligations, schedules, responsibilities and appointments that we forget to really be with the people we love. If you turn off the TV, phone and laptop — if you stay in the moment and open yourself to play and fun — guess where you’ll end up? Reconnecting with friends and family!

via 5 Steps to a Blissfully Unproductive Weekend | Debbie Woodbury.

Seems like its just 5 simple things, but some of these are still going to be a real challenge for me. I think I’ll have to take it one at a time and work my way up to all 5 at once :).

Relaxing, relating, and releasing — thanks for joining me on the journey to better work life balance! Making the HR connection, yours

All Work And No Play Means No Play

I am so lame. This you may have already known if you’ve been a long term reader of my blog 🙂 — but seriously I did the silliest thing ever last week.

About two months ago I brought 2 seats for my and my guy to go see Bill Burr in San Antonio. I was so looking forward to it. We don’t get out much. We haven’t assimilated much into the area and this was something that we would have done from “back home.” I bought our tickets (I even splurged and got ‘the good ones.’ Got excited. And waited for the date to come.

Coincidentally, the last 2 months have been some of the busiest in a long while. You’ve probably noticed that the blog has been a little quieter than normal too right? Its been a lot of late nights and early mornings at the office — long weekends working on projects for work and for other HR projects — but our night out with Bill was coming!

I was working late a couple of Friday nights — I was WAY TOO tired to go out, and figured I would work a bit longer and then go home and crash. And when I got home, I was SO tired that I literally fell asleep with my clothes on. I made it up the stairs, took my shoes off, and feel asleep. Out like a light. I woke up the next morning and checked email and my Facebook. I was greeted by a stream of photos, tweets, and updates from people talking about Bill Burr. Weird. Weird. Weird? What? Wait.. No.. no.. oh no.. seriously.. no way.  Yup. I MISSED the event that I had been looking forward to for months.

I wasn’t mad for the money that I wasted for the event that I didn’t get go to. My sig-o didn’t even remember ( but to be fair, I AM the calendar and he goes where I go). I was annoyed that I was so busy with work that I clearly had not made time for ME! Sounds cliche.  Cue every single work life “out of balance” saying you know out there now.

I’m bummed to have missed Bill Burr. But I’m even more bummed on all those other things that I missed. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my work — but October is gonna be all about bringing “balance” back.

Have you ever been “here” before? Let me here your stories?

Tell me I’m not alone 🙂 Thank goodness I have Netflix and can catch Bill there (its not the same, but its a lesson).

Making the HR connection, and fumbling through Netflix, yours,

Your Thoughts on Marissa Mayer banning telecommuting at Yahoo!

While I do think that this is a step in the wrong direction — I not 100% in agreement for some of the discussion. My two cents — work life balance and flexible workplaces are not just a “woman” thing or a thing for “moms” — I don’t have kids yet (unless you want to count my four -legged kiddos) and I want work life balance and flexible work arrangements and my sig-0 wants those things to. Making this just about the message that she’s sending working mothers is a little off to me — I feel that its an easy connection since she’s a woman and a new mother.  IMO, if that’s the only argument that people are making, they are missing the point.

There are tons of studies that show the benefits of flexible work environments and flexible work schedules and how they benefit the bottom line– the question that people SHOULD be asking it — that despite all that evidence that shows that flexible work arrangements are THE THING that drive happy employees, bigger bottom lines, and employee engagement — WHY would she make the decision to steer the company away from that — what does Yahoo! stand to gain?  Is this a statement as to the overall productivity and culture of Yahoo! And speaking of culture — what is the culture at Yahoo like right now — and what has it been like since Mayer took the helm? Questions Questions Questions — I feel like I seriously need more information.

Anyhoo — my two cents — take ’em or leave ’em — my ask of you — get into the discussion and really take a look at both sides of the debate. As for Yahoo! — certainly a story to keep watching as it unfolds — I for one am really interested to see how it all plays out.

Making the HR connection, yours, thegirlinhr!

PS — your thoughts on the nursery that she built adjacent to her office — ingenious or hypocritical?

Why can’t a woman’s place be in the home and the office?

The struggle for work/life balance is back in the spotlight since a recent Yahoo! memo decreed the company’s staff can no longer work from home after June 1.

Parents reacted furiously online, accusing Yahoo! president Marissa Mayer (a new mom herself) of being out-of-touch with working-class families that depend on the flexibility of telecommuting .

Mayer made history last year when she became the youngest female CEO to lead a Fortune 500 company — while five months’ pregnant. Working moms hoped she’d pave the way for a more family-friendly corporate culture.

“We looked at her getting made CEO for a Fortune 500 company and cheered,” says Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother Media. “We tried to make her our role model.”

But Mayer took just two weeks off at her new gig after having the baby (her former Google employer, in contrast, gives five months’ paid maternity leave) and installed a nursery next to her office — a luxury many working moms could only dream about.

Then came the memo restricting workplace flexibility — from a tech outfit expected to embrace the global workplace beyond the cubicle.

via Marissa Mayer bans telecommuting at Yahoo! and becomes the mother of dissension   – NY Daily News.

When did my Sunday Funday become Loathing Laundry Day

When did my Sunday Funday become Loathing Laundry

… my continuing saga with to find work/life balance (and doing the laundry)
 
 

I find myself in the same place almost every Sunday – vowing not to go into the office to get a jump start on the work week but then feeling guilty for doing something “fun” because my house is a mess.

I am probably one of the worse home-makers EVER! I don’t enjoy it, but totally appreciate it when its done. My sweetums and I aren’t the neatest people — we’re prone to clutter — so we’re used to living in a state of “dis-array” but at some point reach that point of ENOUGH!

My general cleaning routine — put the junk in a room I don’t go in and close the door — works for almost everything BUT laundry.  I can skip a couple of weeks of laundry, but the by the third week, there are clothes EVERYWHERE. Sweetums and I have THREE big dogs who will spread it all around and like to lay on it.

So here I am. Sunday evening still tackling all the laundry and feeling no better prepared to get my week started off we’ll rested and recharged.

As I stated earlier, I’m not much into doing chores at my house — but laundry is the worse. I thought it might be crazy (and really lazy in the terms of house cleaning) but turns out that I may not be alone.

Laundry, dinner planning, and doing the dishes are by far my least favorite chores, but picking up the house and mopping the floors (especially with three dogs) aren’t far behind for me (and we don’t even have kids yet!).

I need a “Loathing Laundry Day” intervention! How do I turn “I hate laundry” to “I don’t mind laundry”?  — and make more time for the things that I like to do vs. the things that I need/should do. Work- Life balance is something that I am really trying to instill into my team, but I feel like be a leader with good examples and practices and not just a generic mouth of HR or management and say “you need to find work life balance” or “find what fills your bucket and make time for those things.”

Today I hate laundry, but I’m going to spend 2013 moving the needle (let’s focus on the laundry and maybe the other chores will fall in line) and finding balance and more time for ME and the things that I “fill my bucket” and energize me!

Do you have the same struggles? Do you consider home time/chore time as “life” time or “work” time (I’m of course making the case for the later FOR ME, but would love to hear other thoughts on it).

Let’s do some research and get a plan in place!  Right after I finish the laundry for the week…

Its Friday – I’m in Love

I thought that it might be fun to feature a “Friday Quote” on each Friday!

I also wanted to start a series of “Relax, Relate, Release” — cheers to the weekend and finding ways to reconnect with yourself, your loved ones, and your personal life so that you can be uber productive at work.

Last weekend I took Friday off and got a much needed massage. What’s in store for me this weekend? Better yet… what’s in store for you?

Ahh– had some massage time last week — it was wonderful — but not quite this relaxing — my masseuse was a bit chatty, but it was okay. 🙂

Happy Friday and find a way to take a load off!

Yours,