The coronavirus pandemic has challenged us in many ways. It’s forced communities to come together to prevent illness, businesses to adapt to a touch-free economy, and individuals to change the way they work and shop.
But for most people, the biggest changes have been felt at home. From e-learning to unemployment, Essential Home Office Supplies shares four of the biggest ways the COVID-19 pandemic is testing parents and children and what families are doing to adapt.
Parents are working from home ...
Millions of workers transitioned to home offices at the start of the pandemic and, almost a year later, many are still there.
While working from home is generally associated with greater productivity, many employees are struggling to stay focused and engaged in light of the sudden change.
Or not working at all
Working from home is challenging, but if you’re still working, count yourself lucky. Many Americans are unemployed, leaving many parents without a steady income.
Unemployment benefits have helped families stay afloat, but since the extra $600 weekly benefit was scaled back at the end of July, some families are struggling to make ends meet.
What you can do:
Technology solutions, support from supervisors, and more autonomy at work can help newly minted remote workers adjust.
However, workers who are unhappy telecommuting should consider their company’s long-term plans. While some businesses are planning a return to the office, others are making remote work a permanent part of their strategy.
If you’re unemployed or simply want something different, assess whether your transferable skills are enough for a career change if you need more education.
Going back to school could help you transition into a lucrative career field like accounting or information technology. For example, accounting jobs are in high demand, and those who obtain a bachelor’s have seen an average salary increase of $15,053.
Regardless of industry, keep in mind that you can complete degree programs online and on your schedule; this makes it easier to earn a degree while you’re working. In the meantime, look to temp agencies, freelancing, and the gig economy for income if you’re unemployed.
Kids are learning from home …
Parents aren’t the only ones working from home. Kids are also attending school online as many districts opted for distance learning and hybrid learning models for the 2020-21 school year. While an important move for reducing community transmission of COVID-19, distance learning has proven challenging for families without a stay-at-home parent.
And missing their friends
Not having in-person school also means fewer opportunities for children to socialize with friends, who they’re already missing after many months of social distancing. While some kids are still coping well, others are experiencing emotional and behavioral problems as the pandemic disrupts their lives and routines.
What families can do:
Social apps, video games, and outdoor play can meet children’s social needs during the pandemic, as can extra quality time with family. However, the bigger question families face is how to manage childcare during COVID-19.
In addition to juggling distance learning while working from home, a challenge in its own right, parents must grapple with reduced availability and higher costs at childcare centers.
If you’re still struggling, ask your employer about child care assistance, flexible hours, and other accommodations to help manage childcare and work. Then, decide between providing care at home, either on your own or with a babysitter, or in a childcare center.
There’s no correct solution for every family, but this tool can help you decide which choice is right for you.
No one’s life has gone untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. But for families, the challenges of COVID-19 can feel especially difficult to overcome. However, while it may feel overwhelming at times, there’s always a way forward for your family.
If you’re facing a problem you’re not sure how to conquer, connect with fellow parents to learn how other families are coping with coronavirus at home.