A year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is yet to go back to normal. With the current realities, many homes are now more than a place of rest and retirement for the day. Our homes are now virtual offices and schools for our children, as regardless of what is going on outside, life must continue.
As the COVID-19 curve flattens in places such as Atlanta, Buckhead, Midtown, and other cities in the US, you’d expect that schools are ready for full-time reopening. Sadly, this is not the case. Many schools have opted for full-time or part-time remote education for students to curtail the spread of the deadly virus. The trouble with this arrangement is that some organizations are reopening to physical work and some roles, such as medical, technical assistant, and front desk jobs, cannot be done entirely remotely.
It is challenging being a parent who has to juggle between working from the office and managing kids who take virtual lessons full-time or even part-time from home. It is worse if they do not have adult assistance who can keep watch over the kids while they are away. According to a survey conducted by the Catalyst, 54% of interviewed 1000 parents in the US admitted to feeling guilty when they can’t be fully present to take care of their children. 32% of those parents also mentioned that they were considering quitting their jobs, albeit temporarily, and another 31% said they were considering working part-time.
For many people, their sense of identity is tied to their work and their role as parents, the pandemic and the measures to curtail its spread have greatly influenced that. So, when one of the roles prospers, the other suffers, which can be very conflicting for many people. Returning to the office post-COVID-19 while their kids are home learning virtually makes the identity conflict worse. It is almost like parents are being asked to choose between the careers and their kids (two of the most important aspect of their lives). The decision to choose one over the other is difficult, and leads to increased stress levels and even resentment towards their jobs or kids.
However, companies can make the transition back to the office better for their workers by putting policies in place that help reduce their stress and the guilt of being absent in their children’s lives. In Atlanta, some companies have already introduced a childcare benefit plan to help parents cope with work and parenting. These childcare benefit plans vary from company to company. Some companies provide discounted babysitting services, increased backup childcare days, or even nanny placement offers.
As a business, your medical facility is as good as those who run it. So, whatever affects your employees’ physical wellbeing, mental health, and emotions can affect their output, and in turn, affect your business. To avoid having workers who are stressed or thinking of quitting their jobs, you should meet them halfway. Ask how they want to be helped and create policies that aim to improve their personal lives so their work-life can run a little more seamlessly.