Employees want more from their companies as offices reopen

Offices that shuttered during the pandemic are reopening as vaccines roll out across the country. But many employees aren’t interested in returning to the same work environment they left behind a year ago, according to the seventh annual Bright Horizons Modern Family Index, USA Today reports

Instead, they want their companies to offer more services for their children. They expect flexibility in their work schedules. And in some instances, they want a permanent shift away from the office to working from home.

“We’ve been working from home or living at work,” says Maribeth Bearfield, Bright Horizons’ chief human resource officer. While employees were generally able to function “we also know that we need help … in order to be able to do this in the right way. So I think employees are looking to their employers to provide more than they ever have before.”

Nearly 6 in 10 parents who began working from home at the start of the pandemic want to keep doing so, according to the report. Nearly half want to work remotely if an emergency arises, while 41% want the option of working remotely whenever they want.

Employees had already begun to demand more over the past decade, from mental health services to family support. But Bearfield says the pandemic amplified and accelerated the need for such resources, and employers who don’t offer them could lose out to businesses that do.  

“Retention is a concern, turnover is a huge risk,” she says. So employers are considering what “to do to ensure we are providing employees and especially working parents with the support they need.” Read the full story.