Back-to-school brings an array of challenges for working parents and businesses.
Staggered induction days are designed to ease children into school life but can often leave working parents scrambling for childcare or asking to work from home.
Whilst this may just apply to the first couple of weeks, balancing a career around the school academic year can be a real source of anxiety and stress for employees, and a headache for businesses with increased absenteeism and reduced productivity.
A working parent’s productivity may be stifled by more than just the scheduling challenges that come with back-to-school season. Parents can also be plagued by worries about how their children will do in school, distracting them from job duties.
The way we work has changed dramatically; jobs have become more demanding, people work longer hours, and advanced technology means that many respond to work emails at home, yet school hours have remained the same.
Growing numbers of businesses are introducing policies to help employees balance their family life with work.
More and more businesses realise that an engaged and productive workforce is intrinsically linked to a good work-life balance. Businesses focusing on flexible working and outputs rather than presenteeism, empowering people to work where, when and how they choose with maximum flexibility and minimal constraints, are rapidly becoming employers of choice.
Catherine Hingston, Senior HR Consultant at NRG understands all too well the pressures of the back-to-school period and balancing a successful career with the demands of a young family. “I am a mum to four beautiful boys, Charlie 8, Alexander 6, William 4 and Oliver 2, and wife to Stuart which means I have five demanding boys to look after as well as working five days a week! I am lucky to have an element of flexibility with NRG that helps me to balance my career with family life.
This week William will start school over a staggered induction period lasting 3 weeks which requires military precision planned childcare. That might mean working from home, coming in early, leaving early, or working longer days to create a shorter one. Obviously it has to work in terms of getting the job done, but combined with my family support network, I am able to be with my children when needed.
NRG’s interest in my children’s wellbeing throughout the school year is so important to me; the simple act of asking how my children are doing in the transition back to school means a lot and proves that I don’t have to sacrifice my kids whilst holding down a successful career.”