New study reveals just how good working parents are for business - and you’re going to want to show this to your boss

Bosses believe that parents who engage in play with their kids are better employees

A woman typing on a laptop while working from home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A new study has revealed that bosses believe parents who engage in play with their kids are better, more 'creative' employees - and they're even willing to give working parents dedicated time off to spend more time playing with their kids.

Finding time to play with your kids can be difficult. In fact, 65% of parents struggle to find the time to play with their kids despite the fact that just 10 minutes a day playing with mum or dad can boost a child's development. But when you factor in all the day-to-day chores that must be done, especially around the schedules of working parents, there's little time left over to really sit down and take time to engage in the types of play your kid needs to support their development.

Chores aside - though this genius psychologist-approved hack can help reduce your daily chores and teach your kids about the mental load at the same time - some parents simply hate playing with their kids. But there is an unexpected advantage for working parents who do carve out the time to engage in play with their kids; it makes them better employees.

It's one of the very few wins for working parents who currently have to struggle through the motherhood penalty that meant working mothers earned 43% less than fathers in 2023, the lack of parental leave that's impacting nearly half of parents' decision to start a family, and, of course, the the lack of affordable childcare that's left the average childcare costs in the UK to rise substantially.

So how exactly does playtime make parents better at work? Well, according to research company Opinium, who interviewed 100 CEOs on behalf of LEGOLAND New York, bosses believe that parents who engage in 'imaginative' play at home display 'more creativity at work' because of it.

“We see parents getting fully immersed in the LEGOLAND New York experience and creating memories with their little ones through play every day. We had a theory that parents can translate this creative, imaginative, playful energy to their adult work lives too,” Stephanie Johnson, Divisional Director of LEGOLAND New York Resort, told Motherly. “In the study, we saw that a majority of CEOs (68%) agree that play time with kids can lead to more creativity at work.”

That's not the only benefit, either. 79% of bosses also believe that play improves employee innovation and creates a more positive culture in the workplace, with a staggering 94% of them also sharing that they believe play can help reduce employee burnout in the long run.

With such stark benefits clearly benefiting both working parents and their bosses, LEGOLAND New York believe bosses need to do more to accommodate working parents. They're not the only ones as parents have long said support from their potential employer is important to them.

But it's good news, according to the research, as bosses are keen to step up and offer working parents more help to, in turn, improve their own businesses through their creativity and innovation. The majority of CEOs - and you're going to want to show this to your own boss - said they would consider offering a multitude of benefits to encourage employees to play more, including offering dedicated time off to play with their kids! It's time to crack on with that list of things to do with the kids and get the creativity flowing.

Being a working parent is difficult, even without the 'mumfluencers' who are making new mothers feel insecure about their own approach to motherhood. It can be hard to make time to do fun things with your kids but it's so important for both you and them, especially as new research has revealed that 76% of children want to spend more time in nature. Why not try out one of these 50 easy crafts for kids - and who knows? It may even help give you some respite from parental burnout.

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.