Family is important, but the struggle to balance a career and caregiving has been a problem for years with no easy solution. Prior to the onset of the pandemic, parents spent upwards of $10,000 a year on childcare. Working parents also suffered reprimands, demotions, and firings due to ongoing problems with reliable childcare. Companies lose $12.7 billion every year because of the childcare challenges faced by employees. What can you do as an employer to help your employees and company thrive? Consider these new benefit trends in the workplace to address the childcare crisis happening in America.
The first option is to inform your employees of the leave and vacation policies in place. When employees understand how to use their leave time, they can plan ahead and schedule the time they need to take care of themselves and their families. Another option is to support remote flexibility in the workday. For example, an employee may need to start work remotely at 11 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. because their child is more focused to learn in the morning. A remote, flexible work environment and time-off policies can apply to employees across the board and may help others find stride in their workday as well. These small changes can help employees be more in control of their day and stay productive.
There are also more direct ways to support parents in the workplace, such as subsidies for childcare, allowances for nannies, or program benefits that connect employees with caregivers like the care@work program. The COVID-19 pandemic affected childcare in many ways as parents could no longer rely on daycare centers or outside help for added childcare support. With restrictions lifting, we are seeing a continuing trend occur for individuals to need in-home care and care that meets individual needs.
In order to retain great employee talent and keep satisfaction high, it is important to consider new ways to benefit your employees. When family is taken care of, employee productivity goes up. These big changes in the landscape of the economy and work have changed the needs of parents and families everywhere. Stay up-to-date with benefits that benefit.