What can companies do to help working parents balance home and work life?
“Two (things) that come to mind are more generous paid family leave policies and support for affordable childcare,” said Geoffrey L. Brown, associate professor of human development and family science in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia. “Both can take many different forms, but in general investments in family leave and childcare programs seem to be good investments for companies. Employees are usually happier, more productive, and less likely to switch jobs. Further, the benefits to workplace morale and stability seem to extend even to employees who do not have children. Since the pandemic, it has also become clear that greater flexibility in workplace expectations (when, where and how employees complete their work) is a necessity for many families, especially for parents of children who are attending school remotely. I hope that some of the flexibility that some companies have instituted will remain.”
Massachusetts came out on top in 2021, with an overall score of 65.12. It ranked No. 1 in work-life balance and No 2 in child care, but No. 15 in professional opportunities.
Massachusetts was followed by District of Columbia, Connecticut, Vermont and Minnesota, in that order, to round out the top five.
Louisiana brought up the rear, with a score of 26.69, and ranking last in professional opportunities and No. 50 in child care.
Seven of the bottom 10 states are in the South: West Virginia (No. 42), Arkansas (43), Oklahoma (45), South Carolina (47), Mississippi (48) and Alabama (50).