When a recent Monster poll found that only 38% of workers said their employer was going far enough to support parents during COVID-19 and 75% said they were looking for more flexibility, Monster decided to address the issue head-on—at least for its own employees.
The jobs site, which often polls employers on work-related issues, recently rolled out a slew of new benefits, including self-care days, a new flexible working approach and childcare help, in response to employee pain points being exacerbated by COVID-19.
“Our recent research showed that more and more people are feeling burned out due to work-from-home,” says Claire Barnes, Monster’s SVP of global human resources. “As the pandemic continues, we want to balance the demands of working remotely and our regular daily routines.”
Monster’s new flex-work guidelines will “suit various needs, such as hybrid work and office arrangements, 100% telework, flexible start and end times, and part-time options such as job sharing,” she says. It also partnered with Care.com, Barnes says, “to provide unlimited access to caregivers, tutors, errand-runners, senior caregivers, pet walkers and sitters, housecleaners—practically anyone who can help you keep your home running while you strive for balance.”
Additionally, the employer introduced two self-care days to give time for all of its global employees to unplug from work and focus on themselves. “That could mean taking a day off to go on a hike, finish a home project, or unwind and disconnect from work,” Barnes says.
Monster is the latest employer to add and enhance benefits as a result of COVID-19. Working parents have been a priority for many employers during the pandemic, with numerous firms beefing up programs and benefits to help. Bank of America, for instance, launched a multi-pronged program to help its parental population earlier this year. That program—which included childcare reimbursement—was set to expire Aug. 15, but the banking giant announced last month that it would extend the efforts through the end of the year. Consulting firm KPMG increased backup care, expanded its network of childcare centers, and added access to discounted tutoring, academic support and homework assistance.
Twitter, Sun Life U.S. and John Hancock launched virtual camps for their employees this summer to help working parents occupy their children’s time.
Mental health has also been a big focus for many organizations as such conditions as depression, anxiety and burnout, rise at an alarming rate as a result of the pandemic. Similar to Monster’s new self-care days benefit, media company Thompson Reuters recently announced it’s instituting a mental health day as an annual company holiday. Cisco gave employees a collective mental health day in May in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and Google extended the Labor Day weekend earlier this month as a way to improve employees’ collective wellbeing.
“Working where you live and living where you work can add tremendous stress to your day-to-day,” Barnes says. “We wanted to support our employees as best we could, whatever their personal situation may be.”