This biggest obstacle employers have faced this past year is accommodating their employees as they work from home. The conversation concerning flexible work options has always been a hot topic. However, 2020 has shown us that it’s important to listen to employees' needs and accommodate their lifestyles.
Working from home has changed the game. Employees have realized they either love working from home or they prefer the office. According to a recent study, about 54% of workers want to work from home after the pandemic is over. Consider the option of allowing your employees to choose how they want to work. A good solution to this is offering hybrid situations and allowing them to decide what days they want to come into the office. This allows a healthy work-life balance for the worker and a stronger relationship with your company.
It is more crucial than ever to be as flexible as possible for your employees. Take into consideration any employees who are taking care of children or family members, instead of forcing them to stick to a strict schedule, suggest they build their own schedule and encourage open communication between them and the management team. Rather than having this burden from both ends, you can work together to create a plan that works for everyone. According to the Census, one in five adults in the United States were not working in 2020 because they were caregivers to family members.
And speaking of caring for family members—maternity leave is hot topic that you may overlook, but means a lot to so many. Only four states require paid time off, and it is only 12 weeks. This paid time off is only granted to the mother. Compared to Canada, both parents can take up to 63 weeks of paid time off to be with their newborn. Even though there are certain laws for maternity leave, consider raising the bar and granting your employees, especially new parents, more time off to be with their children. This creates trust between you and the employee, and is great for retention.
Consider your employees’ situations before making decisions and create open communication to keep your workers happy and engaged. They’re not just employees after all, they’re human beings with needs and people in their lives outside of work.