Consider these statistics from the recently released U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse survey conducted in collaboration with multiple federal agencies. Data was collected between mid-August and mid-October:
Nearly 37% of households have at least one adult that has substituted some or all of their typical in-person work for telework because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Working mothers in states with early stay-at-home orders and school closures were 68.8% more likely to take leave from their jobs than working mothers in states where closures happened later, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Reserve.
Of those not working, women ages 25–44 are almost three times as likely as men to not be working due to childcare demands. About one in three (32.1%) of these women are not working because of childcare, compared to 12.1% of men in the same age group.
In the United States, around one in five working-age adults said the reason they were not working was because COVID-19 disrupted their childcare arrangements.
The responsibilities of working from home, caring for family members and now (for many) virtual learning are overwhelming, and a lot of our teammates were feeling the burden. In response to this, Greenleaf Trust created a small group that researched ideas, conducted team member surveys and partnered with moms and dads to develop our Greenleaf Cares Program, which includes our COVID-19 Relief Fund. This initiative allows all employees to participate in financial support or seek reimbursement for the things that are important and necessary for them during these difficult times. Funds can be used for increased expenses for childcare, education and for technology needs due to work-from-home arrangements caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
We also heard from our teammates that “time” was creating a lot of angst. With childcare, virtual learning, and work all going on at the same time in the same household, teammates with children were feeling the stress of getting things done during “normal” working hours. No one on our team wants to disappoint each other or our clients. Our Business as Unusual philosophy during these times guided us to do such things as allowing more flexibility in schedules, starting internal meetings after the virtual learning day had already begun, and shortening internal meetings to be more efficient.
Our desire with these efforts was to alleviate stress in areas that are beneficial to everyone, meet teammates where they are and support teammates to the best of our ability. You often hear people say, we are in this together, and we most certainly are. The needs of our teammates to be both loving and nurturing parents as well as productive team members must be made possible in order for us to be successful in serving our clients.