Even before the coronavirus pandemic struck the United States, there were plenty of problems with the American workplace that women just kept ignoring. Many women felt that they didn’t have the time to address the issues in their workplaces or even think about how to go about changing anything. Bosses were inflexible, moms had to scramble to figure out childcare if their kid was sick, and stress abounded. Once COVID-19 hit, workplaces suddenly had to shut down or let employees work remotely. In many cases, that inflexibility was no longer viable for businesses if they wanted to stay running.
In a post-COVID-19 world, it seems likely that women will continue to look for the jobs that do provide that flexibility and employers that care about their employees. Learn more about what women will value once the virus is under control and we can safely resume activities per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Employers Who Care About Their Employees’ Wellbeing
If an employer is not practicing social distancing now to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 or sending an employee home when they show symptoms of COVID-19, then it is highly likely they will not care about their employees’ health after the virus, either. Women will look for jobs that provide great health insurance and will send employees home even if they are experiencing mild symptoms of a sickness. If an employer will let someone work from home when they are feeling ill, or even take time to get medical care and feel better, then it shows that they have respect for their employees and do not just see them as another cog in the wheel of their business.
The Ability to Set Their Own Schedules
Many women, especially those who have children, we’re constantly feeling stress from their jobs and from their responsibilities at home before quarantine began. However, the COVID-19 quarantine gave them the freedom to set their own schedules, a feeling that will be hard to let go of if they are forced back into a schedule where they are strapped to their desks, unable to check in on their children or throw in a load of laundry between Zoom meetings.
Women may look to change careers to something with a little more flexibility, such as freelance writing or real estate. For example, working at real estate firms such as Venterra Realty could give them the freedom and flexibility that they want in a post-COVID-19 world. They may want the ability to run to a dentist appointment or take a pet to the veterinarian without feeling like they need to jump through hoops to get their employer to approve of them leaving work for a bit.
A Generous Maternity Leave Policy
Many are predicting that there will be a bit of a baby boom after the virus quarantine, and if that’s the case, many women will want to work at a company that offers a generous maternity leave policy. According to the Pew Research Center, the United States is one of 41 countries that does not have some kind of government-mandated maternity leave. If a woman is forced to return to work before she is ready after going through pregnancy, labor, and delivery, she could end up with side effects that make it harder to foster her career growth. She may not be as productive either, as she is still recovering from childbirth, which is a traumatic event.
While some workers do have a 12-week unpaid leave under the FMLA, this only applies to about 60 percent of the workforce. Since many Americans face living paycheck-to-paycheck, especially after COVID-19, they may not be able to afford to take unpaid leave for so long.