Striking a balance between  professional life and family can be tasking. That is why organizations should work towards creating more parent-friendly environments that will ease the strain on working parents.

This past week I sat down with parents at Akili Network to get their opinion on how employers, including Akili Network, can best support working parents. This is what they had to say:

1.Provide Flexible Working Hours

This definitely tops the list from my conversations with Akili Network working parents. 

“ I believe as long as one satisfies their required working hours and gets their deliverables done in good time, there’s no need to have to do the conventional 9-5.” says our Creative Director Kevin Obillo 

2.Offer Work From Home Options

The covid-19 pandemic revolutionized work place culture and proved that we can actually work from home and get the job done. As the world resumes normalcy, many organizations are expecting their employees to come back to the office.

“Offering parents an option to work from home means getting the job done and at the same time spending more time with family.” Angela Mburi- Sales Account Manager

3.Give more clarity on compassionate leave day.

“Most organizations have very vague terms around compassionate leave for mums who undergo miscarriages and still births or even dads whose spouses have had such experiences. They rarely get enough time to grieve and are expected to recover in a few days and get back to work like they didn’t just undergo a traumatic event in their lives. It’s also important for employers to cater to the needs of nursing mothers by providing nursing rooms and refrigeration.” Anne Sato -Head of Programming

4.Implement supportive education policies

“School fees is one cost that many parents tend to struggle with. Employers can create payment plans that will support parents clear their fee payment in good time. This is what it would look like, an agreement between a working parent and employer to have a certain amount of money at a specific period in time, paid directly to the school and then this amount be deducted from the employee’s salary at the end of the month or as agreed” says Head of Partnerships Eddie Olang

5.Foster Open and Effective Communication Channels

“ One last thing, it is important that both parties are able to communicate with each other openly and honestly. This means that working parents are able to ask for help when they need support or are feeling overwhelmed.”Kevin Obillo adds.

While we understand that organizations are in the business of making money and profits, it is important to note that growth of any business can largely be attributed to employee wellbeing. It is imperative that employers continue to support and take care of their employee’s wellness and especially their mental health, because this or the lack of it will definitely reflect in the overall performance of the organization. 

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