Amid concerns from childcare providers about their ability to cater to increased demand for ‘free’ childcare, HR expert Alan Price outlines why on-site childcare might be a benefit that many parents welcome.
According to the Office for National Statistics, 75% of mothers are employed and when it comes to fathers, 92% are employed. Yet, one in five working parents say they don’t receive any type of support from their employer when it comes to helping them manage childcare.
The daily juggling act of balancing professional responsibilities with childcare obligations can take a toll on working parents. From the morning nursery run or dropping children off with relatives, to racing to get to the office on time, the routine can be hectic. And high levels of stress, be it personal or professional, can have a detrimental impact on workplace productivity.
However, research finds providing onsite childcare could actually counter this and boost workplace productivity. When businesses provide childcare for employees, they can find that employee absences decreases by 30% and job turnover falls by as much as 60%.
So, with this in mind, is providing onsite childcare the key to better productivity amongst working parents? And what additional benefits can it bring?
Here are a couple more proven benefits of providing onsite childcare and some considerations for employers and employees alike.
One of the critical challenges businesses face is retaining top talent – especially among working parents. According to a survey conducted in 2021, out of 2,500 working parents, almost 20% had to quit their jobs or reduce their working hours solely due to a lack of childcare, showing that the lack of, or cost of, childcare is a common reason people leave their jobs.
Plus, the pandemic allowed parents to spend more time with their children, giving rise to a greater need for flexibility, which, fast forward to today, is now a non-negotiable for many more workers. Companies could lose their talent if they don’t act. And as data from the Work Institute estimates that the cost of one lost employee is around one-third of their annual salary, the potential financial losses could be significant.
The availability of childcare facilities at the workplace demonstrates a proactive commitment to supporting the diverse needs of employees and is a powerful retention tool which can ultimately, save the company precious time and money. As the modern workforce places a premium on work-life balance, companies that provide onsite childcare create an environment where employees feel understood and valued. This, in turn, significantly enhances employee retention rates. Additionally, the positive impact on work-life balance spills over into increased engagement levels.
Employees who feel supported in managing their family responsibilities are more likely to be emotionally invested in their work, leading to higher levels of productivity, innovation, and overall job satisfaction. The integration of onsite childcare, therefore, becomes not only a strategic business decision but also a key driver in fostering a loyal and engaged workforce.
With the average cost of full-time childcare in the UK costing £14,836 per year, it’s no wonder that the financial burden of childcare costs is a significant concern for many working parents.
Onsite childcare addresses this challenge head-on by providing a cost-effective alternative. Parents who would have otherwise had to spend a considerable portion of their income on external childcare are able to save money. And parents who would have left their roles after being priced out of their jobs due to the cost of childcare, have more freedom to continue working.
The convenience of having childcare at the workplace not only reduces financial stress for employees but also contributes to increased job satisfaction. This financial relief allows working parents to focus more on their work, knowing that their children are in a safe and affordable childcare environment just steps away.
In the competitive talent acquisition and retention landscape, employer branding plays a pivotal role.
Offering onsite childcare is a strategic move that reflects a company’s commitment to employee wellbeing and work-life balance. This family-friendly initiative sends a positive message to current and prospective employees, showcasing the organisation’s progressive values. A workplace that prioritises the needs of working parents is more likely to attract top talent and retain skilled professionals.
Additionally, the implementation of onsite childcare contributes to positive employee-employer relations, fostering a sense of loyalty and gratitude among the workforce.
The introduction of onsite childcare facilities in the workplace brings about a unique opportunity for team relationship building. Parents in the office, often navigating similar challenges in balancing work and family life, naturally connect over shared experiences. The communal space of the childcare facility becomes a hub where parents can forge connections, share parenting tips and provide mutual support. This not only enhances sociability but also strengthens team dynamics.
As parents get to know each other beyond professional roles, a more cohesive and understanding work environment is cultivated, positively impacting collaboration and communication across the entire team.
Onsite childcare offers a tangible solution to alleviate the stress that can accompany hectic morning commutes. By eliminating the need for this, parents can experience a more streamlined and stress- free routine.
Lower stress levels have a direct correlation with improved mental wellbeing, allowing employees to bring their best selves to the workplace. As stress decreases, so does the risk of burnout and associated negative impacts on workplace productivity. Essentially, providing onsite childcare becomes a practical investment in the overall wellbeing of working parents, fostering a healthier and more resilient workforce.