Many Technologist Parents Working Extra Hours in Attempt to Balance

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many technologists have been trying to do their jobs from home while also juggling their family commitments. This is a challenging task, to put it mildly, that seems to mutate with each passing season: Parents who spent the summer dealing with a lack of summer camp and child-care options must now try to navigate their kids’ remote schooling while maintaining their own work schedules. 

With all that stress, it’s inevitable that something has to give. Blind, which conducts regular (anonymous) surveys of the tech community, recently asked technologist parents whether they’re spending additional hours in order to complete their workday deliverables. As you might expect, only 21 percent said they didn’t need more time; the rest ranged from 1-2 additional hours (26 percent) to 2-3 hours (29 percent) to 4+ hours (24 percent).  

That sort of scheduling pain seems pretty widespread at the nation’s largest tech companies. Take a look at this breakdown of Blind’s data:

During the pandemic, many companies have done their best to navigate the abrupt shift from in-office to remote work, with all the family complications such a thing inevitably brings for workers. Of those firms, a hefty percentage have succeeded in delivering their employees what they need: Dice’s ongoing COVID-19 Sentiment Survey reveals that a majority of technologists have been generally happy with their companies’ response to the pandemic. They also feel secure in their jobs.

However, the Blind survey suggests that a significant percentage of technologist parents are concerned that they’re being compared too critically to their colleagues. This feeling is particularly prevalent at a few prominent companies, including Airbnb (69 percent) and VMware (71 percent):   

Things are getting more complicated as states try to re-open and companies figure out how to reintroduce workers to the office in a way that’s safe. If there are no daycare or in-person schooling options, then technologist parents may need to stay home even as their offices begin readmitting people. Managers and team leaders must do what they can to accommodate the unique needs of these parents while also ensuring that projects continue to proceed on-time and within budget. Engaging with employees, and focusing on their mental health (as well as their logistical needs) is key during this time.