In these current unprecedented times, many working professionals now find themselves having to juggle home working with caring for their families. So how is it possible to ensure you are fulfilling your obligations to your employer as well as those in your care? Hillside's Marketing Manager Holly Hollis shares her experiences so far in her role as a home worker, educator and carer.
I am a single parent, raising two young children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) - a genetic condition which is life limiting. I'm no stranger to complications. CF has a habit of throwing curveballs when you least expect it and never allowing you to take anything for granted. The respiratory symptoms caused by the Coronavirus could be catastrophic to my children and so (along with 1.5 million others in the UK) they have been placed in a 12 week isolation for their own safety and protection.
As I type we are 20 days in. Since we entered our isolation here at home, many across the globe have lost their lives. Many businesses in all sectors have had no choice but to shut up shop and every school has closed its doors. No one yet knows when this will end.
It's a very challenging time for everyone - but for home workers the biggest challenge is managing to run your home, care for your children and provide the dedication and support expected by your employer. My role in Marketing means at this critical time, it's more important than ever that I bang the drum and make some noise for Hillside. If we as a small business keep a presence, it not only reassures our clients that we're still in business but it also shows potential clients how resilient we can be.
The difficulty is that at the same time I am having to be a full time mum and dad, co-ordinate a care plan, oversee and support their education and still continue to run a home. Fortunately this is where digital marketing is a great help - you can pick up where you left off at any time of the day. My working week has become 24/7 as circumstances allow but the flexible nature of it means this can be managed around the needs of my children.
They have anxiety about the change in routine. They haven't seen their father now, apart from a wave over the gate, since this all began. They miss their friends. They are scared for those they know. My approach has been to keep them busy. Whether it be drawing a rainbow for a neighbour to put in her window, making a new tortoise house out of an old cardboard box, or planting up a new vegetable patch in our garden we are making memories. In amongst all the devastation this pandemic is causing there are still reasons to feel positive and grateful.
It's not easy. In fact it's proving to be the greatest challenge of my life to date. But it is achievable and employers like Hillside should take a small bow for doing all they can to help those like me who face these challenges.