We just celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday. For some, Father’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to gather as a family, but for many it can be a day of sadness and regret. 90% of American parents agree that there is a fatherhood crisis in America. Sadly 1 out of 3 children in the US will go to bed tonight without their biological father living in the home. And for many other children, their father may be physically present but mostly disengaged from their life. Thankfully, at least in certain segments of the culture, there appears to be a resurgence of dad’s who are passionate about fatherhood and are committed to deeply engaging in the lives of their children. Many of my friends are homeschool dads, and I have been greatly encouraged to see their involvement in their children’s lives.
For decades dads have felt like they had to prioritize their career over their families. The old American dream of working for one or two employers for 40 years and then retiring is gone. Young fathers are no longer satisfied with waiting to enjoy life when they are 65; they are looking for meaningful work that will allow them to experience the joy of life and investing in their children now. A career as a software developer can be an excellent way for a dad to have a rewarding career while also remaining engaged in family life. One of the main reasons I started HomeCoders was to try to help dads reconnect with their families. By simply cutting out a 45 minute daily commute, a dad could spend an additional 7.5 hours per week with his family. That is a very significant amount considering the average dad in the US only spends 7.3 hours per week with his kids.
There are an increasing number of companies embracing remote software development for a variety of reasons. One of the primary reasons is that allowing telecommuting enables companies to find the best talent no matter where they live. This enables highly talented developers to work from home and spend more time with their family without sacrificing their career. As the owner of a recruiting firm, I am encouraged when I talked to dads who are excited about the possibility of working from home so they can repurpose their commuting time and spend more time with their family.
There was a time not too long ago when the home was the center of the family economy and fathers worked on the family farm prior to the Industrial Revolution. Now technology has made it possible to come full circle and allow families to be reunited once again. The kids of this nation desperately need to have engaged fathers – the statistics are overwhelming. I am hopeful that we will see a generation of engaged fathers rise up and make their children a top priority.
Josh Roley is the founder of HomeCoders. He has been a vocal advocate for remote work for over twelve years. He and his wife and 8 children live in the beautiful foothills of North Carolina.