GOOD

Single dad's viral post to his employees demands they have a social life. Boss of the year.

This is what real leadership looks like.

Balancing a full-time job and raising kids is a tough juggling act in itself, but its magnified in a culture that doesn't give extensive parental leave and expects employees to act like they're on call even if they're not getting paid. This is, of course, multiplied if you're a single parent navigating the work-life balance on your own.


Sadly, even with increasing open dialogue around parenting in the work place and the ways the US pales in comparison to other countries when it comes to supporting working mothers (and single fathers), the issue of demanding bosses and unflexible workplace culture persists.

So, when the single father and president of the digital agency Wunderman Chicago, Ian Sohn wrote a post on LinkedIn about the workplace culture he cultivated for parents, it immediately went viral.

He wrote about how he doesn't need to interrogate his employees about their personal lives, and he doesn't hold expectations for them to be available to his every whim:

"I never need to know you’ll be back online after dinner. I never need to know why you chose to watch season 1 of “Arrested Development” (for the 4th time) on your flight to LA instead of answering emails. I never need to know you’ll be in late because of a dentist appointment. Or that you’re leaving early for your kid’s soccer game. I never need to know why you can’t travel on a Sunday. I never need to know why you don’t want to have dinner with me when I’m in your town on a Tuesday night."

He went on to share that he resents how infantilized the workplace has become, and how employees are often manipulated into apologizing and over-explaining their lives to demanding bosses. The lack of trust, he wrote, is deeply unhealthy for all parties.

"I never need to know that you’re working from home today because you simply need the silence. I deeply resent how we’ve infantilized the workplace. How we feel we have to apologize for having lives. That we don’t trust adults to make the right decisions. How constant connectivity/availability (or even the perception of it) has become a valued skill."

He finished his post by expressing gratitude for the transparent and understanding bossess and employees he's encountered over the years, and shared that a negative situation with a former boss helped shape his current outlook on parenting in the workplace.

"I'm equally grateful for the trust/respect my peers, bosses and teams show me every day. Years ago a very senior colleague reacted with incredulity that I couldn’t fly on 12 hours notice because I had my kids that night (and I'm a single dad. edit: divorced). I didn’t feel the least bit guilty, which I could tell really bothered said colleague. But it still felt horrible. I never want you to feel horrible for being a human being."

His post was quickly met with gratitude and recognition from fellow parents, and tired employees in general.

Hopefully, as the public conversation about the balance of work and parenting (and life in general) persists, so will the gradual shift in workplace culture.

This article originally appeared on Someecards. You can read it here.

Articles
Pixabay

Two years after its opening in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art acquired a painting by Sarah Miriam Peale — its first work by a female artist. More than a century later, one might assume that the museum would have a fairly equal mix of male and female artists, right? But as of today, only 4% of the 95,000 pieces in the museum's permanent collection were created by women.

The museum is determined to narrow that gap, and they're taking a drastic step to do so.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet