As we head into 2023, employers are facing new challenges when it comes to nurturing and maintaining a happy workforce. The cost of living crisis, political uncertainty, and a looming recession hangs heavy over all of our heads, and as employers, we must step up to recognise the challenges our teams are facing. One way that companies can do this is by offering family support benefits that remove some of the mental load employees experience outside of the office. By investing in these practical solutions to the challenges their teams face, businesses can create an environment where people feel valued and supported, which has huge positive implications for both staff engagement and business outcomes.
Since 2020, increased prioritization of DEI initiatives reflects the need for HR professionals to create workplace strategies that are inclusive of those historically marginalized from the workforce. A drive for flexibility and hybrid working has both enhanced and strained our working lives, meaning it has never been more important to foster an inclusive and happy culture to drive productivity and morale.
How family support benefits can enhance employee well-being
Companies that provide family support benefits to their employees reap the rewards of a healthier and more engaged workforce. Offering childcare assistance and eldercare support can help ensure that employees are able to better cope with the stress of managing work and home life. Doing so makes them happier, which in turn increases productivity, creativity and collaboration in the workplace.
Product Director, Tali, began using Bubble during the pandemic to help support her work-life balance, and sees childcare as essential to maintaining her well-being: “it’s the most important thing for parents because it unlocks time. Once you have time you can do your work and find the space to take care of yourself. Anyone that needs to school their children while they’re working, without any help, is really just going to suffer personally and professionally. Childcare is really just fundamental to sustaining a good work/life balance.”
Childcare support goes beyond the day-to-day to necessity, and in this world of flexible working, emergency or last-minute childcare options are quickly transitioning from a nice-to-have to a workplace necessity. Offering employees access to emergency support gives them peace of mind that their childcare needs will be met if unexpected events arise. We’ve spoken with many parents who’ve faced the panic of school phone calls during important meetings or having to shuffle around their calendars when the nursery closes unexpectedly. Nowadays, more and more people are moving away from their family and friends, so when things go wrong, they are left high and dry with little to no backup options available to them.
Having childcare options available shows your employees that you acknowledge these struggles and are committed to supporting their lives.
Family support benefits can similarly support your HR goals by reducing costs associated with employee absenteeism and by improving retention statistics. Grappling with inadequate and inflexible childcare infrastructure in this country, parents are often forced to take time off work when childcare arrangements fall through and unexpected situations occur. To an even further extreme, many parents – particularly women – are leaving the workplace altogether due to astronomical childcare costs and the impossibility of balancing their careers and home life given the lack of support in place at present. By offering opportunities related to childcare, employers can provide an invaluable service to their staff that allows them to stay productive and able to sustain the demands of both work and parenthood.
Which family support policies should I implement in my organization?
As the workforce increasingly becomes more diverse and complex, a suite of childcare and parental benefits should be available for employees. Implementing a family support policy can be an important step in creating an organisational culture that reflects their needs. Crucial to consider are flexible work-from-home policies, childcare benefits, and eldercare support measures.
In addition, offering childcare-cost-related financial assistance to staff could help alleviate some of the pressures associated with childcare while allowing them to maintain their overall productivity levels – for example, offering your employees monthly childcare vouchers may fit nicely with existing childcare arrangements. Engaging with staff members on this issue can bring increased awareness, engagement, and satisfaction within the organisation as well as supporting its overall efforts in promoting inclusive cultures for people of all backgrounds.
How Bubble for Work can help
Bubble for work is a family support benefits package that helps employees to thrive by offering extended family care. Eligible employees will be entitled to numerous benefits such as unlimited access to our childcare booking platform, pay-as-you-go childcare credit, 1-2-1 consultations with eldercare specialists, and bespoke community events. We’ve helped businesses across multiple sectors including legal, finance, advertising, media, insurance, and infrastructure bolster their support for working parents within their organisations.
Family support benefits undoubtedly have a significant impact on employee well-being. In addition to improving work/life balance and reducing stress, these benefits can also lead to increased productivity and loyalty among employees. If your company is not currently offering any kind of family support benefit, now is the time to start planning for it. Our team can help you implement a comprehensive family support program that meets the needs of your employees. Book a demo with us today to learn more about how we can help you create a workplace that supports families.