IKEA is About to Become a Much More Family-Friendly Place to Work

IKEA is the latest company to revamp its parental leave policies—and we predict the move will pay off big time for the company.

IKEA family leave policy Richard Frazier/Shutterstock
Spotify did it. Ebay did it. Zillow did it. And now, IKEA joins the ranks of companies that are seriously revamping parental policies. The Swedish company will roll out a new policy for its U.S. division, which entitles parents up to four months of paid leave after they welcome children. This policy will extend to both salaried and hourly employees, and most notably, IKEA's policy won't just benefit birth mothers; it'll also apply to new dads, and adoptive and foster parents. 

USA Today reports that these benefits will start on January 1. There's speculation that IKEA, a company that employs roughly 14,000 people, may be doing this in order to gain leverage in an increasingly competitive corporate climate—and this definitely makes sense. Making it easier for workers to balance their professional and family lives is certainly a great way to ensure talent will stick around. Need proof? Look no further than Patagonia, a company that is incredibly committed to its family-friendly values and has stellar retention rates to show for it. 

"At IKEA, we believe time with family and friends is so important for a healthy work-life balance and a happy and productive workforce.” Lars Petersson, IKEA US President, said in a press release for the news. “This benefit, which applies to all parents, will give our co-workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families when welcoming a child. Our co-workers are our most important resource, which is why we continue to invest in helping them reach their dream.” 

Petersson sees this as an "investment" in the company's workers. This makes a lot of sense—especially since so many parents leave major companies in favor of small, modern workplaces that tend to offer up more attractive work/life balance.

We'll hand it to IKEA: This is an impressive, important move—and we're especially thrilled that the company will offer the same benefits to hourly employees (who are often shorted where work benefits are concerned). Let's hope more companies follow in IKEA's footsteps in 2017.