Supporting Working Parents: A Guide For Companies

Attention, founders, CEOs and People teams! Are you aware of the balancing act that your working parents are performing daily? If you’re not, you’re in a dangerous position!

As more and more parents enter the workforce, companies need to recognize the importance of supporting their working parents.

Juggling a career and parenting can be a daunting task, and for many working parents, it can often feel like an uphill battle. Providing the necessary support can not only help employees balance their personal and professional lives, but it can also benefit businesses in several ways.

In this guide, we'll explore why it's crucial for companies to prioritise the needs of their working parents, and how doing so can lead to better employee retention rates, increased productivity, and a positive impact on the bottom line.

We’ll also be covering how parents can manage burnout and seek support with both parenting and work responsibilities within their organisations!

As this is such an important topic, this is a meaty guide packed with lots of useful information and resources: so get ready to be informed!

The Importance of Supporting Working Parents

Working parents are an essential part of the modern workforce, and businesses need to recognize the importance of supporting them. As a company owner or manager, it's crucial to understand the challenges faced by working parents and how providing the necessary support can benefit both the employee and the business.

One of the biggest challenges faced by working parents is the struggle to balance work and family life. Many working parents feel that they are constantly torn between their responsibilities at home and their work obligations. This can lead to feelings of stress, guilt, and burnout, which can ultimately impact their job performance.

By supporting working parents, businesses can help alleviate some of these challenges and help employees achieve a better work-life balance. This can include flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible schedules, that allow parents to better manage their time and meet their family obligations without sacrificing their job responsibilities.

This, in turn, can lead to happier, more productive employees who are more likely to stay with the company long-term.

Another reason why businesses need to support working parents is to help attract and retain top talent. In today's competitive job market, employees have more choices than ever before when it comes to their careers.

Companies that offer family-friendly policies and a supportive work culture are more likely to attract and retain the best employees, including working parents.

Studies have shown that companies that offer family-friendly policies and programs experience lower absenteeism rates, higher employee engagement, and better overall productivity. These benefits can translate into cost savings for the company and a more positive workplace culture for all employees.

Let’s Talk Social, Economic, and Cultural Consequences of Workplaces Not Supporting Working Parents

It’s not just companies and employees that lose out when working parents aren’t adequately supported at work: there’s a huge social, economic, and cultural impact too. So, failing to support working parents in your team has far reaching consequences for the wider world.

From a social perspective, failing to support working parents can perpetuate gender and socioeconomic inequalities. Women are more likely to take on primary caregiving responsibilities and may face greater barriers to career advancement as a result.

This can contribute to the gender pay gap and limit women's economic opportunities. In addition, parents who lack support may experience increased stress and burnout, which can impact their mental and physical health as well as their relationships with their families.

Economically, companies that do not support working parents may experience reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates. This can be costly for businesses, as it can result in a loss of skilled and experienced workers, as well as increased recruitment and training costs.

Moreover, parents who struggle to balance work and family responsibilities may be forced to reduce their hours or drop out of the workforce altogether, which can limit their earning potential and contribute to poverty.

From a cultural standpoint, failing to support working parents can perpetuate outdated beliefs and attitudes about gender roles and caregiving. Companies that offer flexible work arrangements and parental support benefits can help to challenge these norms and promote a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture.

These social, economic, and cultural considerations are especially important for companies to be mindful if they are wanting to achieve B-corp status or hit their ESG goals.

So, How Can Organisations Support Working Parents?

Creating a supportive workplace culture for working parents is essential for promoting employee wellbeing, productivity, and ultimately, business growth.

We’re going to explore some strategies that companies can implement to support their employees who are also parents.

From flexible work arrangements to parental leave policies, there are many ways that companies can demonstrate their commitment to their employees' work-life balance and overall wellbeing.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 things you can do to support working parents in your organisation:

1. Flexible Work Arrangements

Offering flexible work arrangements such as remote work, part-time work, or flexible schedules can help working parents manage their personal and professional responsibilities more effectively.

This can include flexible start and end times, compressed workweeks, or job-sharing arrangements. Flexibility allows parents to attend school events, medical appointments, and other family obligations without sacrificing their work responsibilities.

2. Parental Leave

Paid parental leave is an essential benefit that can help support working parents during a significant life transition. It allows parents to take time off work to bond with a new child and manage new responsibilities.

Companies can consider offering parental leave beyond what is mandated by law, which can help show they put their people first, ultimately helping to attract and retain top talent. They can also provide resources such as coaching or training to help employees transition back to work after their leave.

3. Family-Friendly Policies

Implementing family-friendly policies such as onsite childcare, lactation rooms, and backup care services can help working parents manage their family responsibilities while at work.

Companies can offer on-site or subsidised childcare - which can reduce the stress of finding reliable care for their children - this is something 89% of working UK parents would like to see childcare options available in their workplace.

4. Inclusive Workplace Culture

Creating an inclusive workplace culture that specifically supports working parents is important. Companies can encourage open communication between managers and working parents, and create a culture that values work-life balance.

This includes recognizing the unique challenges that working parents face and offering support and resources to help them manage their personal and professional responsibilities. By fostering an inclusive workplace culture that supports working parents, companies can attract and retain a diverse range of talent.

5. Employee Wellbeing Benefits

Providing a range of employee wellbeing benefits can help support the mental and emotional health of working parents. By investing in the wellbeing of their employees, companies can create a supportive work culture that values the overall health and happiness of their workforce. This, in turn, can lead to increased employee engagement, reduced absenteeism, and improved productivity.

Working Parents: This Is For You

Feeling overwhelmed with the demands of balancing your professional and personal life? Parenting is hard enough, but when combined with work, it can often feel like an impossible task.

And, you’re not alone: last year, studies showed that 59% of working parents experienced burnout.

The rise in burnout amongst working parents only seems to be getting higher too, especially with the cost of childcare in countries like the UK increasing and the pressure to work mounting due to issues such as the cost of living crisis.

That's why it's important to know that you don't have to do it alone. Many companies offer resources and support for working parents, but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start.

Know The Warning Signs and What To Do: Parental Burnout

We sat down with Mamamade, a baby and toddler meal company available on Juno, to understand further what parental burnout is and how it affects parents, both at home and at work.

What Is Parental Burnout?

Parental burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that can result from the constant demands and stress of parenting. It can impact both working and stay-at-home parents, and is characterised by feelings of fatigue, irritability, and a loss of interest in daily activities.

Parental burnout can be caused by a number of factors, including lack of sleep, financial stress, relationship difficulties, and the challenges of balancing work and family responsibilities.

The demands of parenting can be particularly acute for working parents, who must navigate the additional stressors of job performance and workplace expectations.

If left untreated, parental burnout can have serious consequences for both parents and children. Parents may become less engaged or responsive to their children's needs, leading to disruptions in parent-child relationships.

Children may also experience negative outcomes, including decreased academic performance, emotional difficulties, and behavioural problems.

Warning Signs Of Parental Burnout

Mamamade told us the warning signs parents should be looking out for when it comes to parental burnout:

“Burnout manifests itself as emotional (feeling like you can't cope), cognitive (not being able to think properly) and physical (fatigue).

Irritability and being bad tempered are two major warning signs. If you find yourself snapping at your partner or your kids, take a step back and consider if it's stress. This may not mean you have parental burnout, but it can be a sign that things are heading that way.

Fatigue is another big warning sign. As parenting becomes too much to handle, the body starts to preserve its energy, which results in sufferers becoming detached from family life and looking after the needs of others.

Other signs not to ignore include insomnia and headaches, similar physical symptoms to sufferers of chronic stress disorders.

When full burnout finally kicks in, parents will feel total stress and exhaustion from being around their children, and it's common for them to fantasise about abandoning family life. But as a parent, you can't just 'quit', so it becomes a vicious cycle unless you combat the stressors and seek help.”

How To Ask For Support From Your Organisation

It’s often difficult to even know where to start when it comes to seeking support, but by taking steps to manage burnout, working parents can maintain their wellbeing and continue to be productive members of their workplace. So, let’s take a look at how you can feel like an empowered employee and parent, knowing how to seek help!

1. Start with Communication

It's important for working parents to communicate with their manager or HR representative about their situation. This can help managers understand the needs of the employee and offer support and resources accordingly. It's important for working parents to be clear about what they need and how they think their employer can help.

2. Utilise Company Resources

Many companies offer resources and support for working parents, such as Employee Assistance Programs, wellness benefits, and flexible work arrangements. Working parents can explore these resources and determine which ones would be most helpful for their situation. Additionally, companies may have policies in place that allow for time off or modified work schedules to help parents balance their responsibilities.

3. Consider Job Sharing or Reduced Workload

If parental burnout is impacting a working parent's ability to perform their job, they may consider job sharing or a reduced workload. Job sharing allows two employees to share the responsibilities of one full-time job, which can reduce the workload and stress for each employee. Alternatively, a reduced workload can help working parents manage their responsibilities while still maintaining their employment.

4. Seek Support from Co-Workers

It can be helpful for working parents to seek support from co-workers who may be going through similar experiences. This can help create a sense of community and provide opportunities to share tips and strategies for managing work and family responsibilities.

5. Practice Self-Care

It's important for working parents to prioritise self-care to prevent or manage burnout. This can include taking breaks throughout the day, getting regular exercise, practising mindfulness or meditation, and setting boundaries between work and home life.

The Answer To It All: Support Working Parents, With Juno

Empower those in your team that are parents and give them the extra little bit of support they need to feel happier, more rewarded, and more fulfilled both inside and outside of work.

Whether an employee is an expecting parent, a parent of little ones, or their kids are more fully grown, Juno lets them take whatever they need and has something for everyone, helping people feel more supported in their parenting and work roles.

For example, on Juno you can find:
  • Baby and toddler meals by Mamamade.
  • Life skills for kids lessons by Role Models.
  • Educational content for kids by EXPLR.
  • Gardening grow kits for kids by Herboo.
  • And many more!

Using the new AI-powered marketplace, parents can also enter their wellbeing concerns and have a curated list of products, services, and experiences shown to them to tackle them in the most personalised way possible.

Additionally, the Expenses feature is one that we see parents using a lot to pay for childcare, as Ally Fekaiki, our Founder, told Wired: “we’re seeing users based in the UK, Spain, Canada, Egypt, and beyond expensing wraparound childcare, summer camps, and nursery fees—this support is universally invaluable”.

So, join the roster of progressive, modern companies supporting all of their employees, including parents, with Juno.

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