A recent survey by FlexJobs has found that 40% of working parents had to quit or cut back on hours since the pandemic. This was because the closure of schools has forced many to juggle work, childcare and help in their children’s education.
Quit or Work Less: Of those surveyed, some 25% have voluntarily cut their hours and 15% have quit entirely. Of those who quit, 38% don’t plan to rejoin the workforce. An additional 5% said their partner had to either reduce their hours or quit.
The survey highlights the impact of working remotely during the era of COVID-19 and the need for employee support among businesses.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Working Parents
Even though times are hard financially, most families are forced to make even harder decisions. Childcare is the biggest challenge because the timetable for school opening is still up in the air. And until they open, families have to make sacrifices.
So much so, 22% of the respondents say they would have to request full-time work-from-home status. Another 7% say they or their partner would have to quit their jobs.
- To manage work and childcare, more than half (58%) say that a flexible schedule would have a positive impact
- 21% say they would have to pay for additional childcare to manage the extra load
- Women were disproportionately affected with 63% of working mothers forced to be the handlers of childcare duties
- Only 42% of working fathers took the lead in child care duties
- 80% of working mothers said they took the lead on remote learning support for their children compared to 31% of working fathers
- Though 43% of working mothers said their employment status had remained the same during the pandemic, 17% quit their jobs
- 51% of working fathers said their employment was the same, and only 10% had quit their jobs
Finding the Balance
Among the most important factors working parents consider when evaluating a job prospect Work-life balance was rated highest (79%). While pay (77%) and flexible work options (73%) came close second and third in the survey.
The survey points to the need for companies to have a frank conversation with their employees. Supervisors need to encourage employees to share their concerns with them and be forthcoming about your and their concerns. These discussions will help lead to helping address the life-work conundrum we see today in remote working.