The Boston Metro area, like much of the country, is in the midst of the “Great Resignation.” As employers struggle to fill open positions, numerous employee surveys suggest that American workers are simply burnt out. The pandemic has increased the pressures on caregivers and parents, who represent about 73% of the national workforce.
A recent study by Harvard Business School found that 80% of these employees admitted that caregiving duties affected their productivity. 32% of the same cohort reportedly left a job due to conflicts with their caregiving or parenting priorities.
While much blame for worker shortages has been placed on stimulus funds or extended unemployment benefits, the fact is that many childcare centers, schools, senior residences and senior aid services have been affected by the pandemic. Simply put, caretakers and parents have fewer outside resources for help. Some workers are “sandwiched” between the needs of their own school-age children and the needs of elderly relatives.
This is a problem that money alone cannot solve. Offering higher wages and attractive benefits can certainly help Boston Metro businesses attract new talent. But keeping employees on the roster and avoiding churn will require individualized approaches to workday scheduling, along with flexibility regarding remote work and time off arrangements.
Not every businesses can offer an individualized approach to employment. However, employers who can find a way to balance business needs with the priorities with today’s caretakers will be ahead of the game.
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