The changing face of the American working dad

More American fathers are assuming an increasingly active role in raising their children, but many employers haven't adequately responded to their changing needs.

This article was originally published by on Friday, June 17, 2011.

By Katherine Reynolds Lewis, contributor, Fortune

Who's going to pick the kids up from soccer practice? Or how about when junior is feeling sick and needs to be collected from the nurse's office? While the answer to these questions would have been obvious years ago, it certainly isn't today. But have employers actually kept up with this shift?

Take the flexible work policies that many employers have developed over the last few decades, as the flood of women entering the workforce demanded a departure from the standard 9-to-5 schedule, in order to handle children's emergencies. It turns out that men are five times as likely to work flexibly on an informal basis, rather than adopting a manager-approved flexible work plan, according to a new study of fathers and work by Boston College's Center for Work and Family.

When your spouse is also your coworker

Sometimes you're married to work; other times you are married at work. The ups and downs of working at the same office as -- or alongside -- your spouse.

This article was originally published by on Thursday, June 9, 2011.

By Katherine Reynolds Lewis, contributor, Fortune

When Tom Corwin is done with his workday, he knocks on the wall. That signals his wife Carol -- who works in the neighboring office at the U.S. Education Department's budget office -- that he's ready to go home.

"We've been married 27 years now, and we've been working together longer than that. I can't imagine not working with her," says Corwin, 59, who met his wife on the job. "We always know what one another is going through professionally."

The couple enjoys talking out work challenges during their commute home, and often will brainstorm a solution to an assignment that seemed pointless at first blush. They contribute to each other's careers, and probably end up giving more time and energy to their employer than they would otherwise, he says.

With June kicking off the start of wedding season, newlyweds who work in the same office will embark on a delicate balancing act between their relationship at work and at home. Long-time married couples sharing an employer say it helps to have separate roles, respect your spouse's contributions at home and work, shift into professional mode when needed and zealously guard your personal time.