The pandemic caused significant changes in the workplace as businesses asked their employees to work from home. The situation was challenging for people who were not used to working from home. But they made the necessary adjustments to deal with the situation.
The remote work arrangement was also challenging for solo parents who had to deal with the closure of child care centers and the start of online classes for their children. The situation made it more challenging for them to balance their parental responsibilities with their work.
The situation also makes it essential for businesses to implement measures to help solo parents in their workforce. These measures should consider their situation and ensure that they can take care of their family without affecting their responsibilities at work. Here are the ways that businesses can help unpartnered parents in their workforce.
Offer Hybrid Schedules
Businesses should consider the situation of solo parents in their workforce. Solo parents have to work harder than their partnered counterparts since they have to focus on both their professional careers and personal lives. They should fulfill all their responsibilities at work while taking care of their children.
In this situation, some solo parents can end up feeling drained due to the pressure at the workplace and home. When the pandemic started, around 69 percent of working mothers took a leave from work to take care of their children. But solo parents do not have the luxury of taking a leave from work, especially if they are the breadwinner in the family.
Due to this, businesses should find a win-win situation for themselves and their solo parent employees. Offering hybrid schedules for these employees allows them to balance their work with their personal lives. The situation is particularly true for businesses that require employees to work on-site. Hybrid schedules allow solo parents to avoid job stress and allow them to become resilient in the middle of a health crisis.
Assist in Child Care
Businesses can also assist in providing care for the children of solo parents in their workforce. The situation became necessary after child care centers in the country closed. The pandemic made it necessary for businesses to provide facilities supporting child care in the workplace.
Even as the authorities have considered providing funding for childcare, businesses should get the ball rolling in helping solo parents in their workforce. They can set up a facility to help take care of the children of their employees. Businesses can also work with child care providers or reimburse the childcare expenses of their employees.
Businesses can also set up a fully branded community platform, where solo parent employees can connect with other solo parents. Aside from helping their employees get advice from other parents, businesses can also promote their products and services on the platform. Businesses should also provide resources on the platform to promote engagement among their participants.
Exert Effort in Promoting Solo Parents
Solo parents had to deal with a lot of challenges when the pandemic started. Aside from fulfilling their responsibilities at work, they also had to take care of their families at home. The pandemic also saw many single parents, especially single mothers, compelled to leave their work. Despite this situation, single parents stay resilient and look for opportunities to support their families.
Businesses should recognize this resiliency and the effort that solo parents exert to ensure they perform well at work. Due to this, businesses should take this into account when they promote employees.
They should get rid of the idea that an ideal worker is a person who is always available. Instead, businesses should consider other aspects of the life of their employees. Solo parents who perform well at work while taking care of their children take a lot of effort. It also shows the dedication of employees to their work, which businesses should acknowledge.
Provide Opportunities for Breaks
The pandemic saw a lot of people starting new hobbies after the authorities asked them to stay home. But solo parents did not have this luxury since they had to take care of their children after work. This situation increased the risk of burnout among solo parents.
To prevent this from happening, businesses should enhance their policies on paid time off for their employees. They should also ensure their employees have time to take care of their mental health to avoid losing experienced employees who are performing well at work. They should also evaluate policies on unused paid vacation leaves of their employees.
The pandemic had a significant effect on the situation of solo parents when it started. Due to this, businesses should review their policies to help solo parents in their workforce to weather the health crisis.