How are marketers with children coping with home working?

ThoughtIn recent weeks, the working environment for many of us has become unrecognisable, as firms tackle the impact of the coronavirus and many roles adapt to working remotely.

How are Marketers – and particularly those with children at home – coping with home working? A new survey published in Marketing Week explored the challenges Marketing professionals are facing as they adapt to our ‘new normal’.

Employers are supportive – but Marketers with young children are feeling the strain

The report is the output from a survey of 1,990 marketers globally, conducted by Marketing Week and its sister title Econsultancy.The survey found that Marketers with children under 16 at home due to the closure of school are – perhaps unsurprisingly – struggling to be as effective at work as their counterparts who don’t have children’. This is in spite of the fact that their employers are ‘being supportive and communicating well’.

46.6% of marketers with children said that they feel they are working less efficiently than normal, while 41.7% of marketers who don’t have children at home said the same.

The challenges of trying to juggle the time taken by childcare and home-schooling with ‘business as usual’ are also evident. 22.5% of parents felt that they had been working ‘much more’ in the previous two weeks, compared to just 16.3% of non-parents.

On the other hand, 15.2% of those without children at home feel they have been working ‘much less’ since working remotely, while just 12.5% of parents feel the same.

The challenges of combining work with children at home

Some of the particular challenges facing parents with children at home are:

  • Finding a dedicated space to work. 59.7% of those with children under 16 at home feel that they ‘are able to work in a quiet space for at least five hours a day’, compared to 86.7% of those without
  • Meeting deadlines. 28.6% of parents say they have missed or delayed deadlines, compared to 22.3% of those without children at home
  • Managing conference and phone calls. 50.2% of those with children at home report having to rush, miss or reschedule calls, compared to just 31.4% of those without. 60.4% say calls have been interrupted by their home situation, while only 24.4% of those without children said the same

Stress levels higher among Marketer parents

Marketers with children at home are more likely to describe themselves as ‘deeply stressed’ (11.6% versus 9.6%) and ‘too busy to feel anything’ (18.3% versus 14.7%) than those without children. Maybe in part because 54.9% of marketers with children at home are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ concerned about their job security, compared to 48.4% of those without children.

Those without children at home are more likely to feel optimistic (12.2% versus 11.6% with children) and to feel capable of ‘keeping calm and carrying on’ (40.6% versus 35.2%).

On the plus side, perhaps, those with children at home are more likely than those who do not to describe themselves as focused (16.3% versus 13.6%) and productive (13.8% versus 11.7%), while less believe they are distracted (25.4% versus 27%).

Even this, though, may not be entirely good news, with the survey report suggesting that this focus and productivity may come at the expense of personal time; those with children at home are less likely on a daily basis to spend time on exercising, taking part in a hobby or personal interest, connecting virtually with people outside the home, meditating, cleaning the house or doing something ‘just for fun’.

How are employers supporting Marketers during the pandemic?

Although many clearly feel under pressure, the vast majority of surveyed marketers with children at home believe their employer is supportive. 58.2% describe their employer as ‘very’ supportive of their home situation, with 25.3% describing them as ‘somewhat’ supportive.

This is fairly even among men and women. 81.7% of men and 84.9% of women with children at home describe their employers as supportive.

The changing world of marketing

Clearly, the world we are now living and working in is unrecognisable from even a few weeks ago. When we wrote our whitepaper about the changing role of the Marketing Manager, we could never have imagined the extent of the changes we would see in the way we work.

But in spite of continuous change, some of the challenges facing Marketers remain constant. The paper explores these challenges, and how you can overcome them. You can download a copy from our resource library.

Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.

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