COVID sent many workers home. For parents, this meant creating new schedules and unfamiliar routines, especially as it related to childcare and other family responsibilities. Now, this structure will have to change again. Are you doing enough to support your working parents now that they are returning to the office?

With many career-minded professionals waiting to have kids, working parents make up a smaller portion of the workforce than they did decades ago. Sill, on average, working parents represent more than four out of every 10 employees (41%). That’s a large chunk of your team trying to balance the challenges of succeeding at work with raising children.

Meanwhile, most families attempt to juggle two careers at once. Government statistics show that nearly 60% of married couples with children have both parents working. That fact increases childcare concerns and complicates the quest for work/life balance.

Here are a few steps you can take to support these working parents as they look to return to the office:

Stay Empathetic

Working parents face a tough situation under any circumstances. The uncertainty surrounding the COVID recovery has only added to this burden. Concerns related to health and the availability of childcare have forced many parents to rethink their priorities when it comes to a career.

As an employer, any response to the new situation has to start with understanding. You need to empathize with your team members struggling with their duties as parents. (After all, you might even be in this category yourself).

Make yourself their partner in solving these problems rather than becoming another challenge they need to overcome.

Understand Work/Life Balance

It’s crucial to view your employees as complete people. This is often more difficult than it seems. You need them to fulfill certain tasks for your company, and you increase your profit the more effort they put into their jobs.

Yet, pushing too hard can lead to problems down the line. An unrelenting drive for more output will only encourage your best team members to look for more understanding employers. You’ll see an increase in turnover and difficulty in recruiting top talent.

Instead, play the long game. Recognize the importance of a healthy work/life balance for your working parents. This will help you build a team capable of performing at sustainably high levels into the foreseeable future.

Flexible Schedules

A typical 9-to-5 schedule doesn’t work for all parents. Juggling home responsibilities often requires taking time during traditional business hours. Events like doctor’s appointments and daycare snafus force working parents to burn sick time or inconvenience their friends and family.

As an employer, you can ease these conflicts. The pandemic has taught us that professionals can remain productive with flexible schedules. Keep this going in the post-COVID world, giving your employees options about when they complete tasks and how they manage their routines.

Hybrid Working Options

Where you work is almost as important as when you work. By giving your employees remote options, you increase their ability to fulfill family obligations while remaining productive for you.

Like many businesses, COVID restrictions likely forced you to create structures to support remote work during the depths of the pandemic. Now that the end of the crisis seems in sight don’t abandon these systems. Instead, leverage the investment you’ve already made.

Create a hybrid working environment that gives your employees some say in where they contribute. This will provide additional value for the working parents you have on staff.

Subsidized Child Care

So far, we’ve talked about offering your employees more time to spend on their family priorities. However, there’s a limit to this. You also need them to devote a certain number of hours to working functions.

During these times, parents often face limited childcare options — at least ones that fit their budgets. To solve this, give them the material support they need. Offer funds to subsidize their childcare expenses. Or, if you have enough employees to make this practical, you can offer a company-run daycare option.

Building a great team means standing by your employees. But first, you need to find exceptional talent in the first place. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can bring you the perfect candidates for your open positions.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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