A new survey from Cityparents has some interesting findings on the impact of Covid on City parents’ career progression and what could be done to improve it.
Over a third of parents who work in corporate roles in the City say their career prospects are worse now than before the pandemic, according to a report.
The report, 2020: The Covid Catalyst, by Cityparents found that 35% of the 481 respondents [36% for women] consider their career prospects to be worse than before the pandemic and 22% [21% for women] said career development discussions had stopped completely. The vast majority of respondents were working mums.
There was significant support for businesses who could adapt performance targets for flexible workers, create different pathways for career progression and include flexible workers in promotion opportunities, although only about a quarter of respondents felt their employer actually offered the first two and less than half said their employer included flexible workers in promotion opportunities. Less than a third said their employer had adjusted their workload, performance measures and career planning in line with the Covid situation.
Eighty per cent of respondents said they had been working outside of their normal working hours either occasionally or frequently to meet their work and home responsibilities. One respondent said they would start work at 4am in order to fit in their professional workload as well as home schooling. Three quarters said the biggest source of anxiety was the need to juggle work, childcare and home school.
However, 39% noted that their employer’s support has improved since before the pandemic and 68% saying their employers’ culture and values were translating well to remote work. Nearly three quarters observed a greater acceptance of the benefits of flexible working and 52% say their employer has already changed their flexible working policy for the long term. Eighty per cent said they would not choose to return to their pre-Covid work pattern and 74% feel as productive if not more so at home as compared with in the office.
Louisa Symington-Mills, Founder and CEO of Cityparents, said: “2020 has posed a momentous challenge for so many and forced a previously unimaginable shift forwards in the implementation and acceptance of flexible working. While the conditions have been extremely challenging with our members reporting high levels of anxiety about juggling work, childcare and home school, this mass remote working experiment has catapulted the City through a period of operational and cultural change that would otherwise have taken decades to achieve.”
However, the survey also reveals areas where respondents feel that remote working life requires progress: technology improvements (39% say their tech set-up is worse at home than in the office), motivating individuals (39% said it was waning) and corporate communications (30% feel less in touch with the organisation). As with other surveys, there was a lot of support for hybrid working.