Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Supporting Single Parents at the Office
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Have you ever thought about how many single parents work at your company? There may be more than you think. According to the Census Bureau, there were approximately 12 million single-parent families in the U.S. in 2016. National Single Parents’ Day, which takes place on March 21, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate single parents and determine how HR policies can better suit their needs. Working parents face unique challenges, but organizations can help alleviate the pressure on single parents with policies that help. Consider these three Quality of Lifehacks for supporting single parents in your workplace.

Be flexible. Most parents would be thrilled to have the option to work from home when a child is sick or when schools close. For a single parent without a partner to share childcare responsibilities, it’s critical. Flexible work schedules, including the ability to work from home, provide employees who are single parents the flexibility they need to build successful careers. Of course, these policies benefit everyone, not just single parents—employees who feel that they have control over their schedules are more satisfied with their jobs and happier overall.

Offer a safety net. If offering a work-from-home option is not possible, an alternative is a backup childcare program.  Parents at times must cope with sick children, school closures, nanny cancellations, and other issues, so a backup option is essential for a single parent. Backup care services can provide peace of mind to employees, and allow single parents to save their sick days for when they need them. According to the 2014 Families and Work Institute National Study of Employers, only about 8 percent of large companies offer this benefit. Your organization could be on the cutting edge with this creative solution to a common parenting challenge.

Let parents keep kids close. Flexible work options and backup care services help on days when something goes awry, but what about single parents of young children, who need childcare help every day? Some workplaces, such as the Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., have an on-site childcare center. This allows employees to visit children during breaks and helps them save time that would typically be sucked up shuttling little ones around. According to WorkingMother.com, the on-site childcare option boosts employee satisfaction and engagement among all parents at Discovery, but it’s even more important for single parents. Without a partner to share drop-off and pick-up duties, eliminating the need for an extra stop at daycare each morning and night saves single parents time and energy.

Which policies at your workplace demonstrate organizational support for single parents? Tell us in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Your personal data may be processed by Sodexo to deal with your contact request. This personal data is processed based on the legitimate interest of Sodexo of sharing information about its services. This personal data is processed by the authorized individuals in the Sodexo group and may be disclosed to external service providers, including from countries which are not considered as having an adequate level of protection. In the event that external service providers are engaged, contractual arrangements are made to ensure that such service providers comply with the strict privacy rules applicable and put in place appropriate safeguards to ensure an adequate level of protection. In accordance with the applicable law, you can exercise your data protection rights. For more information, please see the Privacy Policy.