The findings suggest that just a little change in work culture can help even women with children manage their work-life balance."These findings may encourage changes in the structure of jobs and culture of work organisations to support families," said Kelly Davis, research assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University.

"The results show that we can change the way we work to improve family life," Davis noted.

The Support-Transform-Achieve-Results (STAR) workplace intervention included training supervisors to be more supportive of their employees' personal and family lives, changing the structure of work so that employees have more control of their work time, and changing the culture in the workplace so that colleagues are more supportive of each other.

The researchers evaluated whether parents who participated in the STAR intervention reported significantly more daily time with their children compared with parents randomly assigned to a control group.

They found that parents in the STAR group exhibited a statistically significant increase in parent-child shared time -- an additional 39 minutes per day on average -- between the pre-test and the 12 month follow-up post-test.

By contrast, parents in the control group averaged 24 fewer minutes per day with their child at the 12 month follow-up.

Interestingly, the researchers found that it affected mothers' and fathers' time with their children differently."Among the study's findings was that mothers' time with children increased more than fathers'," Davis said.

What is more, mothers in this sample did not work significantly fewer hours per week -- on average 46.24 and 46.59 hours per week for mothers and fathers, respectively -- and work hours did not significantly change from pre-test to post-test for either mothers or fathers.

The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.

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