Recognizing Family Caregivers in Your Workforce

Employees range in their willingness to speak about their personal lives. While some may bare all, others may keep details to themselves. It’s the group of individuals who don’t speak about their private lives that may sometimes be the most in need of flexible work. 

Address the issue 
In these cases, it could be beneficial to speak to employees and understand whether there are personal reasons for this behavior, especially if their performance has decreased. You may find out that the person is caring for a loved one who is older or disabled. Or, you may just learn that he or she has personal responsibilities and doesn’t wish to share details. In either case, offering flexible hours and the option to work from home may be a welcome change for him or her. 

Expand flexibility 
Chances are, there are caregivers in your workforce and you may or may not recognize these individuals, but many caregivers face the challenge of balancing their personal and work lives. Giving employees the option to work from home or changing their working hours allows them to address important responsibilities that would otherwise be hindered by a strict 9-to-5 schedule. 

After all, most services, including many doctors, operate during normal business hours. Workers may not want to use up a vacation day to bring a loved one to the hospital for a routine checkup. Giving them the chance to work around the appointment means that they’ll be less stressed, which will reflect in their work. Furthermore, employees may have to monitor loved ones at home. Requiring them to work in the office would likely mean that they’ll be distracted, affecting their productivity and lowering their quality of work. 

Create trust 
By opening up flexible work opportunities, you create a culture of trust and show that you understand the importance of a proper work-life blend. You also acknowledge that some individuals may have responsibilities that they don’t want to address in a professional setting. This can be especially important when hiring new staff members, who may be more hesitant to touch on these issues. 

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