From anxiety about the delta variant to wondering when schools will reopen and how will they manage to get everything done before the end of the week, working parents have so much on their minds these days, it’s getting hard to keep up with their day-to-day concerns. Coupled with these, they also have to manage their work and career and as a result, it’s so easy for them to be overwhelmed now and then, if not all the time. Balancing work and caregiving responsibilities is as difficult if not more thanks to the pandemic and hence, companies need to do more to support working parents.
Instead of promoting work-life balance, promote work-life integration
Dental and annual health checkup packages simply do not cut it anymore, employees need more than just these perks to help them work to their full capacity in the workplace. Covering full or part-time childcare is a great way to show parents that they as employees are valuable to the company. One company, HelpR is supporting their working parents by having flexible work and expanding their policy to 100 hours of backup care for children and adults. Other companies have fully transitioned to only working remotely so that they can be closer to their family and children, and instead of promoting work-life balance, they should be promoting work-life integration. ‘I hire smart people who get their work done and do it really well—whether that’s from behind a desk or in a hockey arena watching their kid’s game. We all have lives and families, so we’re flexible and allow people to work when and where it makes the most sense for them,’ says Bianca Padilla, Cofounder, and Ceo Of Carewell.
Companies shouldn’t be aiming to return to as it was pre-pandemic, but rather bridging disparities
What about work timings and hours clocked? Many companies today are doing away with these traditional methods of measuring a certain number of hours and are focusing on the output and the quality of work that employees are putting out. It’s all about changing the work culture to ensure that it’s not just about hours. Also, there is the issue of returning back to normal, pre-pandemic levels, however, how many working parents say that it was all hunky-dory before all of this happened? “Companies shouldn’t be aiming to return to as it was pre-pandemic. The pandemic highlighted disparities and issues that have existed for centuries, including the lack of employer-led support for working parents, lack of diversity among leadership teams, and more,” says Sarahjane Sacchetti, CEO Of Cleo. Sometimes, it’s not about changing policies but changing the culture of work where employees are encouraged to show the reality of being a working parent and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Moreover, leaders at the company should set an example by taking time off, spending time with their families to show their team that it can be done; you can be a great worker and still be a great parent too.