How Managers Can Support Remote Work Parents
With more people than ever working remotely, effective leadership has never been more important. According to data, nearly 40% of the workforce comprises parents trying to strike a balance between career responsibilities and raising the next generation.
Simultaneously managing professional tasks, childcare, household duties, personal relationships, and self-care is indeed a Herculean task. A recent study by Cleo reveals an alarming statistic: working parents are losing millions of hours weekly to stress, anxiety, and caregiving, which could prompt them to consider relinquishing their careers.
However, paradoxically, the parenting skills that weigh them down also elevate their potential as leaders. Empathy, adaptability, multitasking, problem-solving, communication skills, resilience, and time management—attributes honed by parenting—are invaluable in the workplace.
Read on to learn how managers can optimally support and harness the potential of parental employees in remote teams.
The Importance of Quality Over Quantity
With remote working blurring the lines between work and home, parental employees often fear the perception of diminished commitment to their roles. Managers need to communicate the value of quality over quantity explicitly. Success in your team should be defined not by the hours logged in but by the quality and impact of the work delivered.
Adopting a Trust-based Approach to Flexibility
The unpredictability of parenting tasks calls for a significant shift towards flexible working arrangements. Managers need to trust their team members to manage their work schedules effectively, accommodating familial responsibilities.
Trust your team to get their work done, even if it means unconventional hours sometimes. This trust-based approach creates an atmosphere of understanding, contributing to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
While showing interest in your employees’ personal lives can foster stronger bonds, it’s essential to respect their boundaries. Gauge their comfort levels during conversations about their families and refrain from pressing if they seem reluctant. Offering space can often communicate more support than intruding with good intentions.
Recognizing the Challenges
The struggle to meet career goals while providing the best for their families often leaves working parents grappling with guilt. Create a safe space where they can openly express their challenges. Assure them that it’s okay not to be perfect and remind them that prioritizing their families and well-being isn’t just acceptable but essential.
Promoting Visibility in Responsibilities
Encourage parents on your team to be open about their familial commitments. Whether it’s a school event, a pediatrician’s appointment, or an unplanned emergency, it’s essential for them to feel comfortable about disclosing their requirements. This approach fosters a culture of transparency, facilitating proactive planning and adjustments when needed.
Showcasing Your Commitment
With over 60% of employees grappling with stress due to work-family conflicts, it’s crucial to display a commitment to their well-being. Encourage employees to disconnect at reasonable hours, plan vacations, and organize inclusive team events where family members are welcomed. Small gestures, like remembering their children’s names, go a long way in demonstrating your support.
Celebrating Personal and Professional Milestones
The journey of working parents is filled with personal and professional milestones. From successfully delivering a critical project to their child’s first steps, each milestone is an opportunity for acknowledgment and celebration.
If your parental employees need a quiet place to get work done, WorkSpaces has you covered. Conveniently located in McKinney, Texas, our high-tech office space, executive suites, and conference facilities offer all the tools to succeed in today’s competitive business environment.
Best of all, your workers can pop in and out as their schedules allow, ensuring the utmost flexibility and convenience for their busy family lives.