It’s no secret the pandemic has changed the way many parents work. Whether keeping an eye on the kids while leading a Zoom meeting or rushing out to pick up a tot who’s coughing at daycare, unexpected obstacles don’t cease for working parents.
This new year, as we return to the job and kids return to school, think about how you can be there for the parents on your team while they navigate their dual responsibilities. Here are 5 resources and activities you can implement at work, to show support for your parental employees.
1) Parent Support Channel 🤝🏿
- Start an internal support channel for your working parents. You can set it up on a variety of work platforms, like Slack or Microsoft Teams.
- This is a supportive discussion space for your colleagues. Participants can post photos, share pandemic parenting experiences, and maybe even coordinate kid pick up or childcare with each other.
2) Host a Kid-Friendly Book Club 📚
- Schedule a book club for parents and their kids to attend during or after working hours.
- Have parents take turns hosting. They can select a storybook and read it to the participants, virtually or in person.
- To keep things interesting for everyone, find ways to schedule book reading sessions for various age groups. You can break the groups down into general age groups, like infants, toddlers, and elementary school-aged kids.
3) Panel Discussion for Work-Life Balance 💬
- Host a panel discussion on work-life balance with parents, online or in person.
- Prepare questions and conversation starters to get the ball rolling.
4) Kid’s Lunch Cooking Class 🍎
- Host cooking classes for parents to make easy, healthy recipes for kids’ lunches.
- Parents can take turns showing the group how to make their kid’s favorite meals, with a cooking demo. There are plenty of lunch kit ideas online for inspiration.
- Share recipes and pictures from the class on your virtual workspace.
5) Host a Take Your Kid to Work Day 👩👧👦
- Invite the kids to work, in person or virtually. Keep it simple and make it a day of parent shadowing. Or kick it up a notch by arranging activities for the little ones.
- Set aside a special meeting during the day so kids and parents can gather and talk about their day. Find out what they’re learning while on the job!
- Consider scheduling this day on a professional development day–when kids are off and parents are working. This will ease the burden of finding childcare for the day.
Providing resources to your team is a great way to show that you see their struggles and care enough to do something. Set these 5 activities into action to help make working parents’ lives a little better in 2022.