Motherhood is not easy, especially if you are a working mother. The increased work pressure will not only make you exhausted but also make you feel guilty and unable to spend ample time to enjoy a little bundle of pleasure. Having a professional career makes your work at home, daunting, difficult, and arduous. This may make you feel anxious and put you into a state of depression, which can worsen the situation.
Under current circumstances, it is quite possible that working remotely or working from home has become the new “normal” in the COVID-19 pandemic and forcing working mothers to work from home like other professionals. Although some professionals have begun heading back to their offices, many are still working from home. This alternative method of working brings new challenges.
A survey conducted by Bangalore-based UCS and workforce confidence index across various cities and states found that almost 75% of employees are still working from home. While doing so, the work usually exceeds regular office hours, not to mention long working hours. About 95% said they also work on weekends.
The survey found that this trend is a burden for many employees, especially for women because they continue to bear caregiving duties in addition to their professional commitments. Therefore, the situation hits women the hardest. They have been struggling to maintain a balance between their professional and personal lives in the home around their children all the time.
Facts have proved that working from home is difficult for working women and working mothers in India. The survey shows that currently, about 34% of working mothers provide full-time childcare, as compared to only 19% of working fathers.
According to a survey of 2,256 professionals in India, the results of the survey in the weeks from July 27 to August 31 reveal that the epidemic has affected working mothers and working women in India, as well as the heedful optimism of freelancers about financial management and career prospects.
The poll claims that India’s overall confidence is gradually increasing, with a composite score of +58 (higher than the +54 for the two weeks from July 13 to 26). Statistics reveal that the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the emotional well-being of Indian professional women, with 50% reporting that they are experiencing more anxiety and stress due to the pandemic. For men, this figure is 38%, indicating a disproportionate influence on women during these testing periods. The survey also highlighted the challenges of parenting during the lockdown and this pandemic.
More than 46% of working mothers work outside of their working hours to provide childcare, almost twice that of men (24%). The data also explicates that working mothers are the most to bear the brunt of distractions from childcare while men seek support from their family and friends. The survey shows that only 25% of working mothers rely on family or friends to take care of their kids, compared with 34% of men. The survey results also reveal that more than 48% of working mothers report working late to compensate for work, while 43% of mothers unable to concentrate on working at home with their children.
Neha Bagaria, CEO of JobsForHer, said on parenting disparities: One factor is to balance office and housework, most of which is shouldered by women. Research reveals that during the lockdown and pandemic, the participation of men has increased, but women still spend most of their time taking care of their children.
In other survey results, freelancers in India stated that they are cautiously optimistic about personal finance and career prospects, with an overall personal confidence score of +48. The finding reveals that almost 1 in four freelancers expect their income (26%) and personal savings (28%) to increase, while nearly one-third of freelancers (32%) expect their investments to increase in the upcoming months.
Suraj Moraje, the group chief executive officer (CEO) of a staffing company, said: This epidemic has expedited the transient worker economy. This trend is likely to continue in the short term for two reasons. As the demand outlook endures murky, several employers are reluctant to take on responsibilities for new permanent employees. And second, companies want to introduce specialized skills to a variety of roles, Moraje added. Therefore, this can make freelancers feel at ease about the upcoming economic opportunities.
The pandemic has caused many layoffs in the past few months. As the labor force decreases, employers have shifted workloads to available employees, but it has increased their burden. The survey reveals that as compared to those living with families, people who are living alone can devote more time to work, without travel time, and lesser responsibilities at home.
Anupamaa explained: There are too many online calls happening now. Earlier, there was designated working time, usually within that time, a meeting was held, and then you came home. But now, in addition to daily work, you spend the whole day at work only. There are too many phone calls throughout the days. Coupled with family obligations, this makes things very difficult. Some people start work at 5 in the morning and winding up from 11 to 12-1 am-midnight.
This goes beyond official assistance on mental health problems. This is only a small part. Even if employees are working remotely, the company should also come up with novel ways to make work more interesting and interactive. All calls need not be for work. Maybe sometimes video calls could be done where colleagues can have fun and engage in fun discussions and activities to make them feel good about themselves, she suggested.