Easing the COVID-19 Burden on Working Parents

The pressures of the pandemic have made a tough situation tougher. Employers can help.

GaudiLab/ Shutterstock
GaudiLab/ Shutterstock

One personal bonus for me — during these days of virtual meetings — is that I’ve been able to catch glimpses of the home lives of so many of my colleagues and clients, including occasionally a little one who has ended up on a lap. But I know very well that none of this is easy for families.

As soon as schools and daycare centers closed down around much of the world, working parents’ job descriptions became much more complicated. Serving as full-time teacher and caregiver while keeping up with work responsibilities has placed a significant burden on parents who already faced work-life balance challenges.

In a Boston Consulting Group survey of working parents in France, Germany, Italy, the U.S., and the U.K., we learned much more about this burden. For example:

· Sixty percent of survey respondents are getting no outside help with childcare and schooling. Ten percent more have even less help today than they did before the pandemic hit.

· Parents spend 27 more hours each week on chores, childcare, and education than they did before the crisis.

· On average, women spend 15 hours more each week on domestic labor than men do.

· Nearly half of respondents believe that their work performance has decreased as a result of the added burden at home.

Supporting working parents — many of whom are a critical part of the talent pipeline — is an invaluable investment. Employers must consider the specific demands on employees with children and provide them with the support they need, including flexibility, adjustments in performance evaluations, and empathic communication and leadership — driving home the message that parents do not have to struggle with these challenge on their own.

Full article here.

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