Three quarters of parents struggling to juggle home working and children

Three quarters of parents are seriously struggling with the challenge of working from home and educating their children during the pandemic, a survey has revealed.

Many parents are juggling working from home and home schooling.
Many parents are juggling working from home and home schooling.

Two thirds of parents admit they do not understand their children’s schoolwork and are unable to teach them the set curriculum, while four fifths are worried about how long this will continue and the affect it will have on their children and their job.

Over two thirds of parents say they feel stressed or anxious at having to both work from home and look after their children for the foreseeable future, according to the report from CWJobs.

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While some people have been furloughed from their jobs and are paid 80 per cent of their salary while they stay at home, others are trying to balance a full-time role with home schooling young children – or looking after toddlers and babies who are usually at nursery.

Previous research from CWJobs found 80 per cent of IT decision makers believe remote working would increase productivity in their business. However, the company warned that 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.

However, the survey found, as work life, home life and school life blur into one, over three quarters of parents say that the situation has united them and brought their family closer together.

For those having to home-school their children, 71 per cent reported they find it most difficult to set – and stick to – a routine. 70 per cent said their children simply don’t listen to them, and 61 per cent admit that sibling dynamics may be suffering, as they can’t control or stop their children from arguing.

Dominic Harvey, commercial director at CWJobs, said: “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 per cent of tech workers admitted they would take a pay cut to be allowed to work from home and 66 per cent 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.”

Around 70 per cent of parents say they find it a challenge to keep their children entertained and supervised and are having to be more adaptable with their schedules and rely on online tools to help them through the working/teaching day.

Parenting expert Anna Whitehouse said: “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 per cent 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.”

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