The stress on parents having to juggle working life with hom schooling during the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to tell, a survey shows.
Two in five (41%) parents working from home are finding the stress of homeschooling difficult – and on average, they are spending three hours during the working day looking after their children.
“It’s really positive that employers are taking their responsibilities seriously and supporting staff playing the role of parent, teacher, and employee”
Paul Avis, Canada Life
Canada Life, the insurer, polled parents who are homeschooling, and UK employers1, to understand how workers are fairing during lockdown. On average, parents are spending three hours a day – or 15 hours a week homeschooling their children.
That means they are only working ‘in the office’ for three and half hours a day and are then spending two hours working after bedtime every evening to make up for lost time.
There are concerns that this could have a negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing.
Yet a third (35%) of parents that were polled want their working patterns to stay the same post-lockdown.
|Daily||Weekly||% of working week|
|Hours spent ‘in the|
|3 hours 30||17 hours 30||47%|
|Hours spent home-schooling||3||15||41%|
|Hours spent catching|
up after bedtime
to survey 2,000 UK working adults
with children of school age and 500 SME business decision makers in May 2020.
Calculations are based on a 37 hour working week.
With the Government announcing that schools will not be open full time until September, four in ten workers who are homeschooling (41%) admit that the stress of balancing this is becoming difficult. However, more than a third (35%) want their working patterns to stay the same when the lockdown restrictions are lifted; only a quarter (26%) want to return to a physical workplace, compared to 32% who want to work from home more often.
A spokesman for Canada Life said that employers have “mostly” been quick to respond and accommodate working parents.
He said that with one in four (39%) small business decision makers homeschooling their own children, the majority (87%) of parents say their employer has introduced flexible measures during lockdown.
Paul Avis, Canada Life group insurance marketing director, added: “No one could have predicted at the start of the year that parents across the country would be balancing the pressure of full-time jobs with homeschooling their children.
“It’s a really stressful time for everyone, but parents with young children have been particularly affected. It’s really positive that employers are taking their responsibilities seriously and supporting staff playing the role of parent, teacher, and employee.”
Avis said that parents should remember that if they are part of a group protection scheme, it is likely that they will have access to a range of support services with your cover.
He said: “Words like ‘unprecedented’ have probably been overused, but having researched the many issues with our current working practices over the years, I believe that out of this adverse situation, a beneficial outcome is on the horizon, with working from home and work-life balance now being recognised by employers as a good thing.”