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Parents too afraid to ask bosses for family time

  • British parents are missing out on valuable time with their children due to work commitments
  • Many are too afraid to talk to their boss about flexible working hours
  • Poor work-life balance has resulted in many parents considering starting up a business of their own

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Over a third (35%) of parents in the UK are not happy with their work-life balance, and believe they spend too much time at work and not enough time with their families.

New research has found that children are missing out on valuable time with their parents, with over two fifths (43%) of mums and dads admitting they are unable to do the daily school run due to work commitments. A similar amount (41%) miss landmark moments in their children’s school calendar, such as school plays and sports day as a result of having limited flexibility in their working hours.

Because of this, almost two fifths (38%) feel guilty that they are not as involved in their children’s life as they think they should be.

With a view to change this, two fifths (40%) have considered setting up their own business to improve their work-life balance. Almost half (46%) thinking doing so would help them be more flexible with the hours and days they work, and four in ten (40%) say it would allow them to pick and choose important family moments not to miss.

This comes as the research reveals parents fail to speak to their bosses about flexible working hours. A third (33%) admit they would be concerned about raising the issue with their employers.

As a result, over a fifth (21%) have considered leaving their place of work to improve their work-life balance.

Tim Sawyer, CEO of The Start Up Loans Company, said:

“The pressures of working life unfortunately mean a great deal of parents miss out on valuable time with their children. Our research shows that this isn’t something many take lightly, but what is most alarming is that such a large number of parents are too worried about speaking to their boss about their working hours.

We’d encourage any parent who wants to improve their work-life balance to take action, whether it’s requesting more flexibility from your employer, or exploring other options which make it easier to balance your time. Starting up your own business is an option which can give you more control over your life, and we’d encourage any parent considering taking the leap to remember there are many options on hand to provide support when going it alone.”

Kokoso Baby, which produces premium coconut oil products specifically for baby skincare, is run by mum and dad duo Mark and Lauren Taylor. The Warwickshire based parents started the business in 2014 with the support of a £10,000 Government-backed Start Up Loan. This year, the business is on course to increase turnover by 500 per cent and Mark and Lauren are expanding their global customer base. Since launch, Kokoso Baby has been stocked by popular high street retailers, including Boots.

Mark and Lauren Taylor of Kokoso Baby

Lauren Taylor, co-founder of Kokoso Baby, who is also a Start Up Loans Ambassador said:

“Our business was born out of an idea we had as new parents. After our daughter was born we desperately tried to find natural ingredients to care for her skin. After we found we could make our own creams better than anything on the market we decided to leave our hectic jobs behind and start up on our own. We now get to help other parents with our products, and we can be flexible on when we work so we can juggle raising a young family with running a busy new business.

The support we received from the Start Up Loans Company was fundamental in allowing us to get our business off the ground and since then we’ve achieved more success than we could have hoped for. We feel very privileged to have been selected as ambassadors in 2016 and we hope to help more innovative and hardworking parents turn their dreams into reality.”