The vast majority of people greeted the onset of working from home with excitement and relief. No more commuting? Gas savings? Sweatpants all day? Sign us up!
And while those factors are certainly desirable, the reality is that there is a big elephant in the room when it comes to working from home – productivity decline.
Take, for example, the employees who are working alongside their kids – literally! Most homes are not set up for one or two parents to be working from home in tandem with children doing remote schooling. The result is employees being forced to conduct work in spaces that are either too small/cramped or simply not set up for their needs. And as we all know, schools and daycares have been largely closed or at dramatically reduced hours.
While the negative impact on childless or single workers will be less significant, they have their own hurdles to overcome: the effects of solitary existence and lack of motivation, to name just a few.
What about the impact on you, and your business? Has your team been operating at full capacity under these conditions? We’re guessing not. Virtual meetings and phone calls are hardly the breadth of efficiency, making collaboration sometimes impossible because employers and managers can’t even have the confidence that everyone is paying attention. Working parents often have the added complication of interacting with, or even disciplining their kids during these meetings. Even the best-case scenario of a well-behaved child still results in an increase of daily screen time, a hazard that continues to be at forefront of cautionary medical guidance for children.
But as we said, the sword has two edges. And if you look at it from a different perspective, there’s no denying that working from home offers an opportunity to have more quality time with family and get a front-row seat to milestones that may previously only have been recounted second hand after the fact.
Inevitably, even if at a gradual pace, we’ll be back to our offices and having face-to-face conversations while schools reopen and welcome our children. We bet that most parents will find themselves missing the work-from-home dynamic, even if they’re grateful for the stability and simplicity of the traditional work environment.
So enjoy it while you can, and give yourself some appreciation in the meantime – because working from home with kids in tow is no small feat, and you’re crushing it!0