Working parents the most eager to return to the office

A huge majority (81%) of working parents at small UK businesses are looking forward to returning to the workplace after time spent juggling remote work with childcare over the summer holidays.

This is compared with 66% of people who don’t have children at home, and 69% who don’t have children at all.

Remote work's impact on parents:

Working parents hit by furlough refusals

Zurich introduces paid ‘lockdown leave’ for parents and carers in UK

How organisations can support the working parent shift

What is current best practice for working parents and carers?

Joanna Morris, head of insight at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, said it's unsurprising that so many parents are eager to return as travel restrictions, COVID complications and a wet summer has meant the 2021 school holidays have been tougher than most.

“Balancing childcare with running a successful business can feel like having two full-time jobs,” she said.

“The fact that the vast majority of businesses have managed to keep the wheels of their businesses turning during this time is a huge achievement.”

Getting out of the house and having a proper work routine was the reason most people were looking forward to heading back to the workplace (44% with children at home, 34% without) followed by seeing colleagues again and being social (32% with children at home, 24% without).

Parents of 6 to 18-year-olds were the most eager (82%) to return to the office, followed by those with children over 18 at home (76%) and those with children under five (80%).

By comparison, 69% of people without children were looking forward to going back.

The research was conducted by MaruBlue among a representative sample of 1,464 small business decision-makers. 

Morris added: “This research serves as an indication of the pressures small business owners have been under, with long hours and extra distractions as many parents navigate working from home. Lockdown forced all businesses into an unfamiliar way of working, and each has adapted and evolved in their own way, to meet the challenges each faced.

"Inevitably, these pressures will shape how we come out of lockdown, with technology enabling business owners and their staff to keep all plates spinning."