Of all the things a global pandemic has brought to the forefront of worker’s minds, childcare and the need for flexibility to navigate childcare concerns is one that caught many families by surprise. But the need to manage children’s schedules, find and maintain high quality childcare services has always been a priority for parents. Many working parents struggled to navigate pickups and drop-offs, sick days, and school closures. But when COVID closed childcare and schools across the country, there was no avoiding the issue. The conversation around managing childcare is one that many working parents have had to confront, face to face.
Here are a few lessons that working parents have learned through all this disruption that can help you navigate your own conversations with managers to help set expectations around flexibility and childcare.
Asking for Flexibility
Many managers themselves are trying to navigate the new way of working. They can see the struggles other families have with finding reliable childcare, juggling pick-ups, and dropping offs while staying productive and effective at work. Asking for flexibility when and where it makes sense for the job is key. If you work in a role where you need to get your work done at a certain time of day, there may be less opportunity for flexibility to be allowed in a certain place. But for office jobs, with limited customer interaction, consider suggesting a split shift to make time for managing the kids in the afternoons or evenings. Part-time work may be an option. Or perhaps sharing a role with another employee temporarily.
The options may be more flexible than you are aware, but talking to your boss is important. Be open to hearing their concerns and try to be as solutions-oriented as possible. Your manager may believe that they have a good understanding of what work is like for them, but they may not fully understand the complexities associated with doing so for working parents. Make sure you are clear and upfront about the challenges you are navigating. But follow that up with some suggested solutions that can make a difference for you schedule-wise, and still allow you to deliver on the great work you are currently doing for the company.
Talk to Your Partner
The truth is that there are just so many hours in the day. And working a split shift of work and childcare on your own likely isn’t a healthy balance for most working parents. To mitigate burnout, make sure you have a healthy conversation with your partner to make sure one parent isn’t holding the entire weight of childcare on their own. Not every partner can commit to homeschooling their kids, but taking turns with drop-offs and pick-ups, sick days, or transportation helps lessen the load on your work time (or your rest time, as the case may be). Make sure that you are seeking help from those committed to the health and wellbeing of your family. That may be a partner, or grandparents, or neighbors, or friends. Finding your childcare support network will help offset the needs of workplace flexibility to help you and your manager come to a healthy compromise when it comes to your work-life balance.
Find Better Work-Life Balance
For help finding the flexibility or stability you need from a temp agency in Nashville, connect with the team at All-Star Personnel today.