Five weeks into the school year and many parents are still trying to find a balance between at home schooling and working. What started in March as an extended spring break for students ended up becoming a “new norm” for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents were faced with choosing full time virtual learning for children or a combination of in class for a few days a week and online the rest of the time. Private Schools are an option for those that can afford to and find one with spaces still available, but many have extreme methods of social distancing and mask wearing. As traumatic as this is for students and parents as a whole, a very specific group of people are being affected in a drastic way: millennial moms.
Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, currently comprise the largest portion of the workforce. They also have the distinction of living through two once-in-a-lifetime economic catastrophes before the oldest of them turned 40. The pandemic has thrown a new wrench into the equation with kids not being able to go to school in person. A poll done by the Center for American Progress shows that during the Pandemic, millennial mothers were three times more likely to be unable to work due to school or childcare closures than millennial fathers. In December 2019, women comprised the majority of the paid labor force for the first time in over a decade, even though data shows women are responsible for a much larger portion of the household labor and childcare. Also, a whopping 80 percent of the 11 million single parent households are headed by women. It’s no wonder millennial moms are being hit the hardest by the pandemic closures.
What are families who require two incomes to make ends meet supposed to do during a time when childcare is scarce and schools are only part-time? In an ideal world, people would be able to have flexible work-from-home schedules. This is not the reality for many families who have parents who are essential workers or who are required to be in the workplace to complete their jobs. We are seeing many homes where families are struggling to make ends meet because hours have been cut, someone has been laid off, or a parent has been forced to take time off to work through homeschooling children.
The same Center for American Progress survey shows that during the period of April 23-July 21, of the millennials polled, 38% said they were out of work due to no childcare, and the majority of those were women. How are these families to move forward and maintain a steady financial situation while also making sure that their children are being properly cared for and educated?
In February of 2018, Anonymous Assistants was founded with the intention of trying to offer a solution to mothers who were home with young children or who wanted a flexible schedule to be available to older children. Our motto of Your Work, Your Way does not just refer to ensuring our clients get quality work, it also refers to our contractors having a flexible work schedule.
The majority of our contractors are full time stay at home parents who have been creating a schedule that works for them, while also providing quality work to clients. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses that formerly thought that only an in office work force to be productive, to reconsider their approach to best business practices. Many are seeing that having a virtual workforce is actually just as, if not more productive. What we’ve been seeing is happy clients and also happy contractors who are able to be fully present parents and fully present employees.
Will the remote workforce be around to stay? Will the companies that have invested in at home technology and hired virtual workers find that they are very content with the lower overhead costs and higher productivity? What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts and where you see the future taking us in the Post-COVID world.