A short time ago we released our Modern Families Index, which brought to life the challenges facing employees and families in Britain today.

Although it may be tempting to consider the results as abstract numbers, they really represent a great deal more than that.

The Index highlights that for the majority of employees in Britain today, family and relationships are the clear priority, with 84% placing it at the top of their agenda.

The seemingly abstract numbers however have very real meanings, especially in terms of our society and how we think about working families.

Understanding how parents see family life is an important reality, and it’s also important to recognise work-life and work-family conflicts. If the majority of employees place family and relationships above everything else, then surely supporting employees’ family responsibilities is also vitally important?

Family life is desirable and important to parents; it is an opportunity for parents to take ‘time out’ and refresh their physical and mental wellbeing. Where family and relationships are the great priority, providing support is also crucially important.

However, it’s interesting to see that fewer than half of workers surveyed feel able to discuss family or care related issues with their employer too.

That presents a real concern; if family is the number one priority but employees can’t talk about it, that’s going to have a major impact for both the employer and employee. It can affect home life including relationships, but also transfer back into the workplace, affecting performance, motivation and communication.

Employers should therefore look to focus on working with parents’ values to promote employee wellbeing and develop employee engagement, which in turn will have a positive outcome for employers.