Working parents had a tough 2020, and 2021 still isn’t back to normal, thanks to new surges in the COVID variant. A recent survey shows that 50% of working parents say they are struggling with their job performance due to the demands of COVID-19. How can your company support working parents? Here are some suggestions that will help you take better care of your people and improve company productivity as a result.
Helping Working Parents
Companies can give back to parents in their organization by offering flex-time to help them deal with the rigors of COVID parenting. Allowing parents the flexibility to work from home occasionally to allow for childcare is one way to give them their time back.
This effort by employers comes at a critical time: 72% of workers say they want more flexibility regarding returning to an office setting. The average person can save $4,000 annually in commute expenses by working from home. That’s money in the pockets of working parents—and everyone else. But it’s probably the time that parents spend commuting that is the biggest savings overall. In 2018, the average American worker spent 54.2 minutes commuting every day. That works out to be 4.6 hours a week and more than 9 days a year. Ask any time-starved parent how that kind of time savings could help them cope with the increasing demands of parenting during COVID-19, and you’ll likely see their eyes light up. Companies can help parents find more time in their day by allowing at least a few work-from-home days a month—at minimum.
Support a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Support health and work-life balance in your workforce by offering healthcare virtual services as part of your benefits package. Telemedicine tools and even virtual pharmacies can help parents seek healthcare at the most convenient times for them. Some virtual pharmacy services now offer delivery so busy parents can talk to a pharmacist online and even have medications delivered right to their door. Talk with your benefits administrator about these and other healthcare convenience-focused services.
Talk About Mental Health
Talk about mental health and burnout with your workforce. Some companies are even taking things a step further by shutting down operations to give their employees a break. While many companies can’t afford this kind of extreme forced break, given that 40% of the American workforce says they are burning out fast is a heads up to employers to pay attention to these trends. Some companies are responding by allowing more flex time or encouraging meeting-free Fridays to help workers take some time for themselves. Still, other companies are adding paid time off time and emphasizing work/life balance initiatives to help all of their employees, including working parents, cope with the increasing demands of a stressful life.
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