Managing Working Parents During Lockdown – 2020

Managing Working Parents During Lockdown – 2020

Introduction

Modern Father Working from Home
Modern Father Working from Home

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the face of working life in the UK. This blog will explore some key differences when Managing Working Parents During Lockdown – 2020.
Many industries have closed down completely, and for others that nature of how and when they work has been transformed. As schools and all types of childcare closed, this has presented a particular challenge for working parents. Juggling childcare and working has been challenging for many parents, and their employers.

It is important that employers and employees work together to navigate their way through lockdown and the months that follow as lockdown eases. The following tips can help employers get the best from working parents at this time:

Be flexible

Be as flexible as possible about when employees work. Can they work, early in the morning, or in the evening, or a mixture throughout the day? Can they make up some hours at the weekend?

Is there a better way of working? Does the current situation present any opportunities for change that could benefit the business and the employee?

Be open and honest

This is a challenging time for everyone, encourage employees to be open and honest about their specific needs and the challenges they face and work with them to reach a compromise that works for the business and the employee.

Be focussed

Judge employees on their output rather than the hours they work. Are they achieving everything they need to? Clearly define the priorities and ensure employees are focussed on these. Set longer term goals for things that are required but aren’t urgent.

Develop trust

Employees who are motivated, committed and hard-working are unlikely to change simply by the virtue of the fact that they are working from home. Encourage and support employees to do their best at these challenging times so they are able to continue to make a valuable contribution to your business

Keep in touch

Keep in regular contact with employees. Continue with all your good management practices, and ensure they happen more regularly. This includes, team meetings, one to ones, appraisals. It is more important that managers effectively manage employees working remotely. For great advice around how to manage performance during lockdown, contact our team. We would be happy to help discuss how, and why, managing your team will be different during these new conditions.

Keep things under review and continually improve

Keep working practices under review. What is working well? What requires improvement? Work with employees to continuously improve. Think about what has worked so well, you will want to maintain the change even as lockdown eases.

Show empathy

As in all circumstances, some employees may cope better than others. Ensure you put appropriate support mechanisms in place to support employees where they require additional support. Show empathy to the unique circumstances individual employees find themselves in which may present additional challenges for them.

Allow employees time to adjust

Expect a shift in the pace of work as employees adjust to the situation.

Manage absence

Ensure employees report any absence from work, so this can be recorded and managed. Working from home or remotely can increase or decrease an employee’s focus and commitment, so it is important that you still have good absence management in place.

Remember your legal obligations

Remember that women are disproportionately affected by caring responsibilities and so if they feel they are being treated unfairly may be able to claim discrimination on the grounds of their gender.

Where all else fails

Remember that employees can be furloughed due to childcare responsibilities where it really is not possible for them to work and balance their caring responsibilities.

Summary

We strongly recommend that employers:

  1. Ensure they have good management practices in place to manage employees remotely: team meetings, one to ones and appraisals.
  2. Communicate with employees regularly.
  3. Focus on the key deliverables.
  4. Be flexible.

If employees are flexible and committed during this time, both employers and employees will be able to navigate the way through lockdown successfully.

Contact Us

For further information, advice or support in updating your written statements/contracts of employment and policies, please contact us at rachel.wade@opthr.co.uk or call us on 024 7524 0934

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