“Homeschooling my children and working a job is too much to manage.”
This is a sentiment shared by 57 percent of parents surveyed in a recent TD Ameritrade survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults. At tech companies that have been forced to go completely remote due to the pandemic, leadership can often relate to the challenge of working a 9-to-5 job while chasing little ones around or homeschooling pre-teens. But sympathy is much easier to come by than concrete solutions.
At NextCapital Software, however, that’s not the case.
People Business Partner Jagoda Kocol said that working parents at the fintech organization can request time off to focus on diaper duties or algebra lessons, and it won’t count toward vacation or sick days.
Just like any other new process, Kocol said the policy is likely to evolve based on employee feedback.
In addition to the introduction of COVID-19 childcare time, the people team at NextCapital Software plans to continue offering team members flexible schedules to ensure that childcare is one less stressor.
As businesses everywhere reevaluate how they support and empower working parents, Kocol offered three strategies her own team is using to help caretakers thrive.
Help Working Parents Transition to a Remote Setup
When we first switched to remote work, we recognized that these are not normal circumstances. There is a pandemic. The world is shutting down. Schools and daycares have been affected. So we introduced what we call “COVID-19 childcare time” into our day. Through this initiative, parents are able to track time without having to make it up later or take days off.
As a result, we have had parents log off at 12 p.m. every day for three months because it was their turn to take care of the kids or help with homeschooling. Everyone is supportive and understanding, which was especially helpful for parents.
Through this initiative, parents are able to track time without having to make it up later or take days off.’’
Identify and Offer Necessary Resources for Working Parents
We continuously ask and receive feedback. Our parents and caregivers are able to block off childcare hours during the day and adjust their schedules as necessary. We have parents who are online at 6 a.m. and some who are online at 9 p.m. because that’s when they are able to concentrate without distractions.
Every month, we send out a survey asking employees when they would be comfortable coming back to the office and what measures would allow them to return. We want to ensure that parents do not have to stress about childcare in order to go back to work.
Extend Work Benefits to Childcare Duties
When people hear the term “benefits,” the first thing that comes to mind is often health insurance. While that’s very important, we have learned that there is so much more that matters to employees. Prior to COVID-19, NextCapital recognized the importance of the family obligations that many employees bear. We granted employees up to eight hours each school year to visit their child’s or grandchild’s pre-school, nursery school, elementary or secondary school for parent conferences, special programs and the like.
Moving forward, we will continue to offer team members flexible schedules to ensure that childcare is one less stressor they have to worry about. We want them to feel as though they can always be there for their families.