Schools are starting again soon, bringing on a whole new wave of anxiety for working parents. Back to school season is always stressful for parents and students, but COVID-19 brings on a whole new level of challenges. Parents now have to question if they should even send their kids back. If they do send them back, what happens if they get sick? And if they stick with remote learning, how can they manage their schooling on top of their jobs?
These are all issues employers should be aware of and sensitive to right now. These are stressful times for everyone, and working parents need to be feel supported. Here are a few ways employers can help the parents in their company during back to school.
Be Flexible on Scheduling
As an employer, it’s your job to ensure your employees are completing their work accurately and effectively. That doesn’t mean there can’t be room for flexibility, though. 75% of workers believe work-schedule flexibility is one-way employers can help with the upcoming school year. Try to be understanding if your employees have to take some time out of their day to tend to their kids. As long as their work is done well and on time, give them some flexibility in determining their schedule.
Allow Remote Working
Many businesses and workers found they enjoyed working from home during the pandemic, resulting in many companies to adopt remote working policies even after reopening. Remote working is especially beneficial to parents. If they opt for remote learning, it allows them to ensure their kids are staying productive, and if they send their kids back, they don’t have to stress about leaving work to quarantine if their kid gets sick.
If your business has workers back in physical workspaces, you need to keep them safe and healthy. This includes physical distancing, wearing masks, and sanitizing regularly. You may want to increase cleaning once back to school starts. Once kids are back in school, they’ll be around hundreds of other people who could be sick, and then pass this onto their parents, who then bring it into the workplace. Make sure you have a frequent cleaning schedule and have a plan in place if an outbreak happens.
One of the best ways you can support parents in your company is to check in with them and keep communication lines open. Encourage them to come to talk to you about their worries and ask for suggestions on how you can support them. Be open to their suggestions and try to work with them so that everyone is happy.
The best way employers can support working parents is to be understanding of their anxieties. If you’re a parent too, chances are you’re experiencing the same worries. These parents want to do their job well, so help them do that while supporting them as parents. This is an unprecedented time for everyone. Parents used to be able to rely on schools, after school activities, and family to help them while working, but these days many of those options are unavailable. Try to be understanding that there may be times when their kids have to come before their work.
Need staffing solutions or HR advice to help you during the back to school season? Contact Nova Staffing today! We’re one of the top employment agencies in the GTA and have a team of HR experts ready to help your company.