Marketers are struggling to balance the pressures of working during the Covid-19 pandemic with having children at home, despite the majority feeling their employers are at least somewhat supportive.

Marketers who have children under 16 at home due to the nationwide lockdown are struggling to be as effective at work as their counterparts who don’t have children, despite feeling that their employers are being supportive and communicating well.

According to a survey of 1,990 marketers globally conducted by Marketing Week and its sister title Econsultancy, 46.6% of marketers with children feel they are working less efficiently than normal. This is compared to 41.7% of marketers who don’t have children at home who feel less efficient.

Meanwhile, some 22.5% of parents feel they have been working ‘much more’ in the past two weeks, compared to just 16.3% of non-parents. Conversely, just 12.5% of parents feel they are working ‘much less’, compared to 15.2% of those without children at home.

Finding space to work is an issue for parents home-schooling their children. Just 59.1% of marketers with children aged under 16 at home feel they are able to work in a quiet space for at least five hours a day, compared to 86.7% of those with no children.

Some 28.6% of parents say they have missed or delayed deadlines; 50.2% that they have rushed, missed or rescheduled calls; and 60.4% say calls have been interrupted by their home situation. By comparison, just 22.3% of those without children at home say they have missed or delayed a deadline, 31.4% that they have missed or rushed a call, and 24.4% that calls have been interrupted.

Marketers with children at home are also more likely to describe themselves as ‘deeply stressed’ (11.6% versus 9.6%) and too busy to feel anything (18.3% versus 14.7%) than their counterparts without children. Plus, they are less likely to describe themselves as optimistic (11.6% versus 12.2%) or feeling like they can ‘keep calm and carry on’ (35.2% versus 40.6%).

However, more people who have children at home than do not describe themselves as focused (16.3% versus 13.6%) and productive (13.8% versus 11.7%), while less believe they are distracted (25.4% versus 27%).

The study suggests this is in part because those with children at home are finding less time to do things that are seen as relaxing. The survey finds they are less likely on a daily basis to find time to exercise, take part in a hobby or personal interest, connect with people outside the home (via video calls for example), meditate, do something just for fun or clean the house.

Plus, 54.9% of marketers with children at home are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ concerned about their job security, versus 48.4% of those without children.

Support and understanding

Despite the pressure they feel under, the vast majority of marketers who have children at home feel their employer understands their situation. Some 58.2% describe their employer as ‘very’ supportive of their home situation, while 25.3% describe them as ‘somewhat’ supportive.

Just 6.2% would describe their employer as either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ unsupportive.

Encouragingly both men and women broadly feel supported, although men a little less so. Some 81.7% of men with children at home describe their employers as supportive, while 7.1% say they are unsupportive.

Among women, meanwhile, 84.9% feel supported and just 5.5% feel unsupported.

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