For all its benefits, remote work can introduce plenty of complications. These complications can easily make employees question a lot of things about their careers, including whether or not they should continue working for the same company they have been. This has been particularly the case amongst workers with children also in the home.
Let’s consider a few of the many considerations that remote work has introduced, and how your employees with families might be feeling in response.
How Children Can Complicate COVID Considerations
Or, more accurately, the family dynamic as a whole.
While raising a child can be challenging in and of itself, trying to work remotely while also ensuring they remain safe, cared for, and educated adds an additional level of difficulty into the mix. Just consider how many relied on regular childcare services in order to balance their responsibilities in a responsible way before the pandemic began, even in addition to the fact that the lion’s share of their childrens’ days were spent in school. Once schools closed down and social distancing principles spread, it became nigh on impossible to both work and parent effectively without some give and take.
This has created an assortment of concerns for working parents in addition to the assorted challenges that remote work can have in terms of professional performance and business relationships. For instance, many different considerations have occupied the thoughts of parents who are now working remotely, including concerns about returning to the conventional workplace in general. Childcare responsibilities concern 49 percent, second only to the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 (53 percent), and above decreased work flexibility (48 percent), diminished work-life balance (46 percent), or office politics (31 percent).
Concerns and Impacts of Remote Work
Working parents also have a lot to worry about, professionally speaking:
- 60 percent of parents have felt impacts of burnout, as compared to a general population rate of 56 percent.
- 41 percent report worse-off mental health since the pandemic began, as compared to 38 percent of the population.
- 19 percent of parents worry about their chances of promotion while working remotely, while only 14 percent of all respondents do.
- 22 percent of parents report their skills suffering, while the general population rate is just 19 percent.
- Working parents have also been struggling with boundaries and various complications while working from home.
- 40 percent overwork, or work longer than they should
- 36 percent deal with distractions unrelated to work
- 28 percent have to deal with unreliable Wi-Fi connectivity
- 26 percent deal with tech issues that need troubleshooting
- 24 percent are worn down by video meetings
- 18 percent have issues maintaining their relationships with coworkers
- 16 percent have issues maintaining their relationships with their bosses
In turn, the realities of raising children while also trying to work remotely has had a varied impact on the employment status of many parents:
- 43 percent of parents have seen no impacts
- 21 percent cut back on their working hours
- 16 percent quit work while planning to rejoin the workforce later
- 4 percent had a partner reduce their hours
- 2 percent quit work with no intention of returning
- 2 percent had a partner quit as a result
However, Employees Don’t Want to Give Up Remote Operations
So long as their industry enables them to do so, many want the capability to work from home—to some extent, at least—to continue once the situation normalizes. The success that many have seen makes this a reasonable goal. After all, if businesses have maintained their operations remotely during this time, why couldn’t or wouldn’t they once a return to the office was feasible?
Many have reported that the elimination of the commute alone has had impacts on the rest of their itineraries that make life much easier to manage, with increased family time being another benefit of such flexibility.
Otherwise, lots of workers predict that remote work will help to support workplace gender equality, along with a litany of other benefits to the workforce and employers alike, including heightened productivity, an improved work-life balance, and fewer office politics.
One way or another, the question of remote work and the concept of a flexible work environment is one that most companies are going to have to answer at some point. Netconex can assist you in implementing the technology needed to support all of your operations, in-house and out. To find out what we can do for you, give us a call at 717-295-7630.