How sharing work and home responsibilities can benefit your family…

When it comes to family structure and the benefits of equally sharing work and family responsibility between the sexes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating…

by Ali Roff

It’s official; partners who share responsibility at work and home are happier, and more successful.

A study launched in the 1970s by Örebro University in Sweden in which couples agreed to equally share the burden at work and home by both working part-time and spending equal time at home, taking on half of the household tasks and childcare each, found surprising results.

Thirty years on, the couples reported that their decision to share responsibilities equally was not only good for their relationship, but also their family as a whole.

Most interestingly, the male participants did not report that their career had suffered a negative impact by them dedicating less time to work and more to home. In fact, the men noted that their choice actually served their careers well because the extra responsibility they took on at home was valued highly as experience in management.

The most interesting results form the study, however, were that the sons of these couples did not themselves take up this life choice, suggesting that first-hand positive experience from their parents was not enough to break the conditions that society dictates when it comes to family work/life structure.

Photograph: iStock

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