Balancing Work & Life: Working Parents Juggle No More
COVID’s impact on working parents has gone through quite the metamorphosis over the five or so months that most of us have been working from home. While the early days were madness and we got a whole new perspective on what it’s like to be a teacher — we are grateful, eternally grateful for their service to our children — the more recent period has seen many kids return to school. With parents still working from home, most of us have gained hours we could have never imagined having in our lives.
As things begin to “get back to normal” in some parts of the country, it can be easy to slip back into old routines, but it’s worth looking at what we’ve gained in this period to ensure we hold onto it for dear life.
Let’s take a look at the life change of the working parent, pre- and post-COVID protocol.
The Pre-COVID Working Parent
Whether you have children or not, let’s all try to cast our minds to a time just six or so months ago, when every person in the household needed to be out the door and to their weekly commitments by roughly 8:30 am. If there were kids in that house, they needed to be fed, dressed, organised and hustled out the door to school. Parents needed the same.
Achieving this often meant early starts for parents who would have to organise themselves first, prepare food, lunches, and try and get a sliver of time to look at what their workday had in store to adequately prepare. All of this, before the breakfast rush and battles to find shoes and get to school on time.
Working in an office (which is seldom next door to where you live) and getting kids to school often came with conflicting schedules, which meant mornings were a constant battle, where parents, by 9 am, already felt like they’d done an entire day worth of work. This, understandably, meant mornings for most families were stressful.
The Post-COVID Working Parent
With most previously office-bound parents now working from home, the stressful morning routine has had a revamp. Commuting is a thing of the past, and parents now need far less time for themselves to get ready. Lunches for parents don’t need to be made. Mornings have all of a sudden gained more hours, and those hours can be used by parents more creatively, to get more done and to enjoy more quality time with their family.
Parents and children are happier because parents have more time, more flexibility, and more ability to be in both of their lives — their family-life and their work-life — at the same time throughout the day. The guilt is lessening. The presence is increasing, and productivity is skyrocketing.
With organisations quickly realising that the business did not crumble while the workforce stayed at home, many have introduced permanent work from home arrangements, or more flexibility and work-life-balance to ensure that this period of relief is not temporary.
Working Parents Can (Finally) Have it Both Ways
COVID has undoubtedly been awful for many, but the corporate culture changes that have rapidly rolled out are a lifesaver to working parents across the country, and an eye-opener to all of us realising that it is possible to have and do it all. We just needed to change the structure to get us there.
If you’re a company figuring out how to hire under these new circumstances, or someone looking for a new challenge with a company that appreciates your work-life flexibility, get in touch with the team at Launch. From home, with happy children, we are rested and ready to help you move forward.