Caregiver thumbnailThe trend of working caregivers is on the rise. Is your organization ready to support these employees ? Discover ways to boost productivity and engagement of your caregiving employees.  

 

 

4 Work-Life Challenges Facing Caregiving Employees

(And How to Overcome Them)

Imagine this: In addition to working full-time at a fast-paced and sometimes stressful job, you serve as the caregiver for your aging parents. While you try to minimize the ripple effect of your caregiving responsibilities, these personal commitments are beginning to impact your professional productivity. Unless something changes,you’re worried that you’ll start missing too much work and have to consider changing jobs or reducing your hours.

Caregiver StatisticsUnfortunately, this caregiving scenario is becoming more common among today’s employees. In its recent North American Caregiver Research Study, Ceridian found that 15 percent of U.S. employees serve as caregivers in addition to their regular employment. This number is expected to rise over the next five to ten years as today’s seniors begin to require more care.

“Caregiving is a rising trend in today’s workplaces, and the need to support these workers will only increase as more employees are impacted. Caregiving employees are seeking ways to find a work-life balance, and they need their organization to partner with them to find a solution,” said Christine Adoni, Regional Vice President of Account Management with Ceridian LifeWorks.

Work-Life Challenge #1
Caring for a loved one while maintaining regular employment impacts an employee’s overall well-being. According to survey respondents, the top negative impacts of caregiving include:

  1. Lack of time for relaxation and self-care
  2. Lack of time for activities, social outings and hobbies
  3. Stress/strains on personal relationships

Work-Life Solution #1
Caregiving is a labor of love, and 60 percent of U.S. survey respondents stated the job is more rewarding than challenging. But navigating the complexities of caregiving can be stressful, and the support offered by EAPs can help employees find the balance they need.

When choosing an EAP, be sure it offers a variety of support options, including online resources, consultation with geriatric specialists, referral services, and even care coordination and on-site facility reviews. EAPs like Ceridian LifeWorks will even help you coordinate caregiver fairs and educational series aimed at giving employees peace of mind so that they can better focus at work.

Work-Life Challenge #2
Despite an employee’s greatest efforts, sometimes caregiving to-dos must be completed during work hours. Consider these statistics:

  • The average caregiver spends 29 hours a week on caregiving
  • Working caregivers take an average of 10 days off of work a year
  • 29% of U.S. caregivers have had to reduce their work hours


Work-Life Solution #2
For many working caregivers, flexible work arrangements are vital to their efficiency and productivity at work. Empower employees to choose work arrangements and hours that help them achieve the work-life balance they require. Examples of flexible working arrangements include: telecommuting, job sharing, compressed work weeks, flextime and split shifts.

If your organization offers flexible work arrangements and other caregiving accommodations, be sure to outline these details in a formal caregiving policy. This document should include detailed information about who can use the benefits and when they can use them. Also, be sure your organization understands the legal requirements of the Family & Medical Leave Act and how they pertain to caregiving employees.

Work-Life Challenge #3
The stress and responsibility of caregiving can have a direct impact on an employee’s ability to concentrate and focus at work. Among U.S. caregivers:

  • 40% have difficulty completing work on time
  • 1 in 3 have difficulty focusing at work

Work-Life Solution #3
To effectively help your caregiving employees be productive, you must first understand the support they require. Expand your health assessments and engagement surveys to include questions about caregiving benefits and programs.

Investigate which services and resource formats resonate with your employees and the best methods for delivering caregiving information. Use this insight to develop a caregiving strategy that addresses the unique needs of your employees.

Work-Life Challenge #4
Managers play a key role in engaging caregiving employees and equipping them to succeed. Among U.S. caregivers:

  • 56% state that their direct manager supports them in their caregiving role
  • 46% have made arrangements with their manager for balancing work and caregiving activities
  • 20% state that their manager has made negative comments about caregiving’s impact on their work

Work-Life Solution #4
Within your manager training programs, be sure to educate leaders on how to help and empower caregiving employees. Three main aspects should be covered in your manager training:

  1. Empathy. Teach managers to be empathetic about the employee’s situation and the accommodations they require.
  2. Authority. Give managers the power to authorize flexible working arrangements so that employees can get the flexibility they need.
  3. EAP Promotion. Stress the importance of encouraging employees to use the caregiving resources offered by your EAP.

 

Are you ready to make a difference in the personal and professional lives of your caregiving employees? Taking small steps today will have a long-term positive impact on your company’s culture, absenteeism, productivity and engagement.

For more information:

  • Download Ceridian’s Caregiver Research Report
  • View the webcast archive Ceridian’s Overburdened: The Caregiver Crisis in the Workplace
  • View Ceridian’s Caregiver Tipsheet
  • Learn about Ceridian LifeWorks