Working from home is by no means a new concept. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced several people to jump on the remote working bandwagon whether they were ready or not. So the foremost question in most minds was how to create a family-friendly workplace.
After all, concentrating on work can be challenging when they have kids running around their “office.” When working from home, it is hard to maintain the balance between personal and professional life.
How can you be a family-friendly employer and help your employees make the most of their new workspace? That’s what this article is going to discuss, so read on!
Difficulties Of Working At Home
On the surface, working from home may seem super convenient. After all, there’s no getting ready, no commuting, and often no fixed work from home schedule. However, that does not mean it doesn’t present challenges, especially for employees that are parents. Here’s how remote work can get tricky:
1. Work-Related Stress
When working from home, employees have to cope with having less supervision and direction. After all, communicating via emails or apps is not immediate. Even calls and video calls are not as effective as in-person communication.
Such situations understandably cause quite a bit of stress among employees regarding work completion and deadlines, if there are any.
2. Time Management
The reason why business hours are a practice adopted the world over is that it adds to efficiency. So removing that structure naturally causes people to be a bit laxer with their routine. Employees may often find time slips by them as they perform other duties around the home.
Then before they realize it, they’re burning the midnight oil at their adjustable standing desks, trying to finish their tasks. Most employees may gripe about a conventional routine, but it is more helpful than they recognize.
3. Work-Life Balance
People often think of their home as a place where they can relax after a stressful day at work. However, that distinction disappears when they are working remotely. In this new family-friendly workspace, employees may find it hard to distance themselves from their job. It is hard for them to achieve work-life balance.
There’s always that split-second compulsion to check just one more task off the list or respond to one last email. So a lot of employees adjusting to this environment may feel like they’re always on the job.
People undergo a lot more pressure when working from home than when they were in an office. For one, they may find it challenging to remain productive when they’re working out of chairs at home. This fact is not too surprising when you think of all the household chores that surround them.
Employees may find it hard to focus on just one aspect, be it work or chores, while at home. So naturally, they deal with more pressure while trying to get all their duties done.
Why Should Employers Care About Employees Who Are Parents?
With the changes in the work cultures, family-friendly employers need to change as well. Here’s why caring about employees that are parents is essential.
- When employees get child care support, they take fewer leaves from work.
- Not only that, but there is also a reduction in the annual turnover of the company.
- Employers will have to deal with less lost work time and, in turn, lost income.
- A supportive work culture for parents can also improve recruitment for a company.
- Last but not the least, you will even notice a boost in employee productivity.
How Can Employers Support Their Employees
As an employer, your primary concern is likely employee productivity and how to boost it. Well, if you employ a few simple practices to motivate your teams, this should be a cinch! Here’s how you can do just that.
1. Understanding And Implementing Employee Laws
The first step to being a family-friendly employer is taking due note of employment laws and implementing them where needed. For instance, the FMLA states that companies with more than 50 employees must grant them 12 weeks of leave. These leaves, albeit unpaid, do come with job security.
So employees can make use of them in the case of family or medical emergencies. Of course, employees must submit a leave form with adequate certifications to avail of the same. Many more such laws need close examination and implementation into company policies.
2. Get Team Feedback
Communication is vital to building and maintaining efficiency in the workplace. When working remotely, there are more ways than emails to effectively virtually communicate with employees, so try to adopt new tools.
Several digital platforms are now available that make chatting, calling, and sharing documents so much easier. These can make the transition to a family-friendly workspace a lot simpler. They are also a much more interactive way of communicating for virtual team bonding and getting feedback from employees.
3. Set Up A Plan To Alternate Between Office And Remote Working
Several companies seem to be jumping on board the trend of flextime. Flextime is what it sounds like; it allows for a more flexible schedule. That means employees can alternate between working from home or out of the office provided they maintain a balance between the two. You can do office furniture bulk order to make your workspace more comfortable and create a family-friendly workplace.
Besides, it also includes job sharing, compressing the workweek, teleworking, shift work, and more. Such flexibility allows workers to arrange their tasks in a way that does not impede family obligations.
4. Extra Child Care Benefits
Child care assistance from employers is always much appreciated by employees. Not to mention, you can provide it in several ways. For one, you could offer onsite child care to office employees who find daycares or schools shut down suddenly.
Employers can also offer support to remote workers by providing them details of nearby care facilities. These details can include their fees and the resources they offer.
In today’s environment, caring culture in the workspace is of utmost importance. Shockingly, employees are more likely to look for a new job than discuss issues they are facing with their current employer. It is essential to create a supportive environment, family-friendly workplace, especially for employees with familial obligations, to avoid this.
These simple practices will not only show your employees you care but also boost their productivity.
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