Parents currently working from home while their kids are remote learning are in a uniquely difficult situation, especially if both parents hold a full-time job. There are many steps employers can take to show these workers that they care, and that they are willing to help them succeed. Below are just a few ideas companies might keep in mind to make sure they retain these parents and help them avoid burn out.
Allow for Flexibility. Be sure to empathize with the challenges that these employees are currently facing. While these parents are likely reaping the benefits of no longer commuting to work, they are also facing new challenges to their work-life balance. Offer flexible scheduling or windowed work if possible. If needed, be prepared to spread the workload by bringing in interim staff. You should also consider what post-pandemic flexibility might look like. These employees may be incented by the idea that after their children return to school, they will still have options to work from home and have a more manageable schedule.
Provide Resources. Studies have shown that working moms are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. According to NPR, 865,000 women left the workforce in the month of September. Employers should help these employees understand that they are not alone in their struggle. Providing a platform for parents to connect with other parents at the company would be a great way to show that you care. Consider creating a spot on your company website to offer parents information on childcare options, children’s’ activities and field trips, recipes, stress relief and other helpful websites or webinars.
Communicate. It’s easy for remote employees to feel isolated from the company, especially when you add in the stress of managing a child’s at home learning. This is the time to overly communicate with your employees. Be sure to celebrate accomplishments and big wins. Schedule team-building events over zoom to keep up camaraderie and make everyone feel like they are part of the team.
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