Companies are doing all they can to keep employees happy and motivated while working from home—but let’s be clear, some of their tactics are actually hurting working parents.
As the nation adjusts to working remotely indefinitely—or at least a few more months—employers have had to adjust expectations, workflow and schedules. In their efforts to recreate the pre-pandemic work environment, however, many companies have bombarded employees with virtual happy hours, constant check-ins and unnecessary Zoom meetings. At the end of the day, with our kids melting down and work deadlines looming, we need understanding and empathy more than we need forced bonding.
A remote job coach nailed how these mandatory meetings end up causing employees more stress. Jordan Carroll, a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and a remote work YouTuber from Playa del Carmen, Mexico, took to LinkedIn with a spot-on message for all employers.
”While well-intentioned, relying on Zoom meet-ups and team games to bond causes many employees MORE stress, especially if they feel they can’t opt-out without being penalized.
”And it’s not to say you shouldn’t have some quirky fun in your remote workplace.
”But make no mistake…
”❌ It’s not about the “fluffy” stuff like memes, GIFs, and virtual water coolers.
”✅ It’s about clear expectation setting and output based metrics.
”❌ It’s not about more meetings and check-ins because there’s a lack of trust.
”✅ It’s about more autonomy for employees to get work done and also choose what to do outside of it.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. While the effort is there, employers likely don’t realize how hard it can be to squeeze in an hour of smiles and small talk, when we could be finishing up a report or tending to a fussy toddler. After all, moms are twice as likely to have been negatively affected at work by the pandemic as dads.
For those who enjoy these events, more power to them. They can be a great way to connect with employees you haven’t seen in months, and take a quick reprieve from work. But please, make them optional. There are better ways employers can help parent employees.