COVID19 has forced parents to work from home, and also find the delicate balance of taking care of their children. As millions of students head back to school remotely around the world, parents are faced with the challenges of acting as an at-home teacher and conducting their own full-time jobs.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg TV that the majority of Apple employees will continue to work-from-home until at least early 2021. A Bloomberg report in May signaled the company was planning a staggered return for workers, however it seems spikes of COVID19 in States may have possibly slowed down plans.
In April CNET reported that Apple and other tech companies are making accommodations for employees who are juggling being a parent and working full-time. An Apple spokerspons told the publication at the time that it was trying to do everything it could to support parents during the difficult times.
“No deadline is too important, and no priority is more urgent, than caring for our loved ones. Our goal is to be flexible, collaborative and accommodating of every parent and caregiver on our teams,” said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet. “This is a trying time for everyone — especially parents — and we want to do all we can to support every member of our Apple family.”CNET
In a follow-up to its report 5 months ago, CNET reports today on the progress of those employees balancing working from home and caregiving. According to a survey cited in the report, the majority of 1,000 employees from Apple, Facebook, and Uber say they feel like they’re letting their coworkers down due to the responsibility of being a parent. The survey published in August said that 52% of the employees say they keep their struggle with their children secret as not to worry colleagues.
The report also talks about an unnamed and anonymous Apple employee who was frustrated with the treatment from their manager. The employee allegedly asked their manager for a more flexible schedule, keeping up with the prior commitment from Apple to be “flexible, collaborative, and accommodating” for parents. However, the manager told the employee they were expected to work full-time, or not work at all.
As part of the companies overall efforts to support parents, Apple’s HR team has been jumping in and out of meetings to encourage people to be vocal about issues they’re facing. CNET reports that Apple is also working closely with mental health services such as ComPhysch and Sanvello to help with stress and anxiety caused by the COVID19 pandemic. CEO Tim Cook has also made it normal to discuss struggles employees are facing with their families while working-from-home in his communication with the whole company.