CWjobs, the leading tech job board has released new research which reveals British parents are struggling with anxiety and stress as a result of having to home-school their children whilst they also work from home during lockdown.
Previous research from CWJobs found 80% of IT decision makers believe remote working would increase productivity in their business. However, productivity under current circumstances is likely proving out of reach for many, but especially for parents as they face an additional challenge: the balance of working from home and educating their children in light of continued school closures.
The wellbeing of the family unit is being put to the test during this period of lockdown, and many parents are anxious about the future. Over two thirds (68%) feel stressed about having to work from home as well as look after their children. Longer-term, 81% of parents also worry about how long the lockdown will continue for and the affect it will have on their jobs, as well as their children’s education.
For those having to home-school their children, 71% reported they find it most difficult to set – and stick to – a routine. 70% said their children simply don’t listen to them, and 61% admit that sibling dynamics may be suffering, as they can’t control or stop their children from arguing.
Can’t teach, won’t teach
With the start of the new school ‘term’ now underway, over three quarters (79%) of parents are concerned about their children’s education. Two thirds (63%) admit they find it difficult to understand their children’s schoolwork and can’t actually teach them the set curriculum. The concern is highest (85%) for those with children between 7 and 13 years of age.
A united front is strengthening family bonds
70% of parents find it a challenge to keep their children entertained and supervised, so parents are having to be more adaptable with their schedules and rely on online tools to help them through the working/teaching day. Technology is helping to ease the pain of quarantine, allowing parents to multitask their work, as well as educate and entertain their kids through the use of various online tools and platforms.
Despite the national struggles of lockdown, there are a few positives to be gleaned from the crisis. As work life, home life and school life blur into one, over three quarters (78%) of parents say that the situation has united them and brought their family closer together.
CWJobs has partnered with parenting expert and Heart Radio presenter Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka) to help families successfully navigate lockdown, by offering advice and top tips on how technology can assist with working from home and home-schooling the kids during lockdown: https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/advice/parents-working-from-home.
Anna Whitehouse commented: “I am not surprised three-quarters of British parents are struggling to work from home and school their kids at the same time. The only surprise for me is that 25% are managing to pull it off! A nine-hour workday, plus a six-hour school day, plus seven hours of non-school parenting equates to 22 hours, which doesn’t leave room for much else! Clearly, it is not possible to work to this schedule.
“The first step is to accept it and be flexible with your routines and children. If you have a partner, agree exactly who is responsible for what, as your usual roles might need adjusting. Embrace technology it’s here to help you now. Have no shame in outsourcing with online educational distractions and their favourite shows. The tech is there, the willingness is there but what shouldn’t be there is a mound of homework and children arguing with each other over who gets the blue spoon”.
Dominic Harvey, Commercial Director at CWJobs, commented: “As we find ourselves in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, work, home and school life have become one and the same for many of us. Before the crisis, 49% of tech workers admitted they would take a pay cut to be allowed to work from home and 66% would accept a job that was over two hours away if they could work remotely. So, we know the desire to work from home and remotely is there. However, what parents didn’t expect was to be home-schooling and looking after their children at the same time as working from home.”