News Article

THE NEW NORMAL-6 Ways Companies Are Supporting Parents Working From Home

Posted 25th August 2020 • Written by •

Working parents have always pulled double duty, and COVID-19 has only increased the pressure many are under. A recent Boston Consulting Group study of working parents across five countries in Europe and the U.S. revealed that 60% were not able to find alternative care following school and daycare closures. This has resulted in parents spending an additional 27 hours each week on household chores, childcare, and education, on top of what they were doing previously — which is roughly the equivalent of working a second job.

Recognizing the strain this is putting on employees with families at home, many companies are taking steps to ease some of the burden. Where possible, this includes offering paid parental leave and providing more flexibility around work schedules. But some are also doing whatever they can to keep employees’ kids entertained — giving their hard-working moms and dads a well-deserved break.

Here are some of the most creative and impactful ways companies are supporting working parents on their teams:

1. hosts activities like virtual magic shows, petting zoos, and character lunches, which provides internet-based mailing and shipping services, has created a number of programs designed to encourage its employees and the employees of its subsidiary companies to practice self-care while they work from home. This includes programs that can help parents balance their personal and professional responsibilities, including meditation and mindfulness classes, and sessions with a nutritionist covering topics like helping kids snack healthily.

The company has also found a way to deliver kid-friendly entertainment straight to parents’ living rooms. Working with external partners like Alakazoom and Tiny Tails to You, has hosted digital magic shows and even a virtual petting zoo (minus the actual petting). The goal is to give families something to look forward to that breaks up the monotony of staying at home.

For Andrea McFarling, VP of marketing at ShipStation, which is part of the family, these programs have made a huge difference to her and her family. 

"Right now, I play two roles during the workday,” she says. “I lead my team and I entertain my 5-year old daughter who is at home with me. It's not easy. The activities hosted by ShipStation and not only allow my daughter to feel included in my daily routine, but they demonstrate the company's commitment to family and employee health."

Andrea’s daughter was especially impressed with one event hosted by the parent company: a virtual lunch with Queen Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. 

2. Twitter, Sun Life U.S., Superdrug, and RPS Group created online activities and educational resources

In previous years, parents may have had some time to themselves during summer months as their kids went off to summer camp. Twitter is replicating that experience virtually with a free eight-week program designed to keep employees’ kids occupied and happy.

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