One of the invisible things is that the 40-hour work week convention started when men were breadwinners and women were home full time to cook, take care of kids and elders, and run errands when businesses were open. But that is not true to life for most working parents anymore (and if it is, the employee is almost certainly male). We have 2-working-parent families, single parents, grown children caring for their own parents, and “sandwich” parents who also do elder care.
This also extends to parents who aren’t comfortable with the fact that their kids spend more of their waking week in daycare than with them, or grown children who are struggling to care for a parent (perhaps in addition to their own kids).
Let’s connect people who are interested in this problem. A solution could be as simple as making it easy to find out about other modified schedules so that caregivers who are struggling can see that there are precedents, and it’s not like they need “special treatment.”
Also, there is interesting research about 4-day weeks or 6-hour workdays and productivity. The cost to the university may not be especially high to make these accommodations.