The pandemic placed working parents under a microscope, with many parents having to quit their jobs to provide childcare for their children after schools and daycares shut down. The truth is the desperation to provide for your family while keeping your kids safe is something that all parents feel – before, during, and after the pandemic.
How can your business contribute to a healthy work-life balance where parents feel supported if they need to take a day off with a sick kid, run a forgotten lunch to the school, or slip away for a pediatric dental visit?
Read on to understand how to support working parents in the workplace:
4 Tips for Offering Flexibility to Working Parents
You may have employees that are working parents, taking care of sick parents, nursing a spouse with cancer, or working on their advanced degree in the evenings. It is always a gift to offer flexibility in the workplace.
Evaluate employees on performance instead of facetime in the office. Gone are the days of playing the game of who can be the last to shut down their computer and leave for the day. Instead, if the work is getting done, your employees should be able to navigate their time as they please.
Offer a family-friendly work environment. Build an environment where you get to know each other and life situations. You don’t want to have a toxic culture where no one can talk about their personal life for fear of losing a promotion or being judged. Instead, get to know each other’s families and what people like to do outside of work. Invite families to park days and spend time together in casual settings.
Listen to employee feedback. If you’re not sure if your employees are happy, ask them. You can offer an anonymous way that people can drop suggestions about work-life balance. And then listen and implement the recommendations. For example, they may mention a split workday where they leave early on Fridays and put in more hours during a different day of the week. Or they could suggest more opportunities to socialize outside of work. You will learn so much when you ask.
Rethink the need for in-office work hours and embrace remote work. While some offices thrive on collaboration and demand in-person office time, the pandemic has proven that it is not necessary. Collaboration can happen while people are working from home through zoom calls, messaging apps, and more. Use technology to continue with teamwork while offering the flexibility of working from home. It doesn’t have to be every day. You can choose one or two days per week that you invite employees to work from the office, and then let them choose their preference after that.
When you offer a flexible work environment, your employees will see the trust and efforts to enhance their work experience. And then, they will want to work their hardest to show they value your company’s flexibility. You will only gain higher-quality work and maximized returns when you implement a culture of excellent work-life balance.