Back to school is here – and one thing is clear, there isn’t a common approach to the school year. With some schools starting virtually, others going back in person, and still others delaying the schedule and decision, parents have become a primary focus in the workplace as they navigate the uncertain realities.
Many parents are also feeling the pressure and looking for different solutions than what they did in the spring at the beginning of the pandemic. First Person Advisors is hearing “I just can’t go back to doing e-learning and working remotely long term.” Also, many have already exhausted the 12-weeks of emergency leave and no longer have that option.
What is an employer to do?
First, there are no clear answers, but an interactive and flexible approach is needed. Think of it like the ADA interactive process – working through each unique situation on a case-by-case, individual basis. To get you started, here are six ways to help parent employees navigate work and school.
For employees who have a job where it’s possible to work remotely, allow them the flexibility to do so or continue to do so.
For employees who need to be onsite, it’s even more challenging.
Here's a bonus option: Whether employees can work remotely or not, you could offer a voluntary furlough to them, so they can take leave to care for their children and collect unemployment benefits. As always, it’s critical to ensure that your business needs can support this. You should also make sure the employee is aware that their eligibility for unemployment benefits is ultimately determined by the state, not you as an employer.
The future of work will be a mix of schedules, locations and arrangements based on individual needs, which looks quite different from our typical 8-5 in a traditional office setting. What remains to be seen is how communication and collaboration will continue in the midst of a personalized workplace experience.
Although there aren’t easy answers, taking a flexible, empathetic and interactive approach will reinforce your culture and commitment to your employees during this challenging time.
Categories: Human Resources,Trends