Raleigh, N.C.—The Coronavirus has impacted daily lives from the way people socialize and spend time with family, to how people learn and even work. And as employees try to handle the closure of daycares, schools and adult senior centers, companies are being forced see that caregiving responsibilities cannot be postponed or ignored.

A new survey out today from S&P Global and AARP takes a look at how companies can create policies that allow employees to balance a career and family during the pandemic and beyond. Financial Expert Jean Chatzky discussed the work-life conundrum facing many employees.

Key Data from the S&P Global/AARP survey:

Courtesy: S&P Global’s ‘Something's Gotta Give' Survey: 

  • More than half of parents and family caregivers said they are spending more hours at home taking care of children or providing family care since the pandemic began.
  • Given the bigger burden, more than 30% of family caregivers said they were experiencing a strong increase in stress.
  • Close to 18% of respondents said that before the pandemic, they spent more than 20 hours a week on family caregiving; 24% spent 11 to 20 hours a week; and 31% spent 6 to 10 hours a week. However, half of family caregivers said their responsibilities have increased since the pandemic started.  
  • More than 30% of parents said they spent more than 20 hours a week on childcare before COVID-19, while 23% said they spent 11 to 20 hours a week taking care of children. The amount of time required for childcare duties since the pandemic began has increased for 58% parents, according to the survey results.
  • While U.S. corporate leave policies have expanded gradually in the past few decades, experts and executives say the coronavirus has forced a sharp and sudden acceleration in the pace of change in family-care benefits.
  • Close to 37% of companies, regardless of size, have added flexible work hours to their policies since the pandemic began. Companies offering flexible locations and hours tend to have lower turnover.
  • The gender pay gap could contribute to pushing women out of the workforce amid the pandemic. In 2018, American women earned about 81% of what men earned, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • As the pandemic nears the seven-month mark in the U.S., some employees will hit a breaking point and start to drop out of the workforce to deal with family care responsibilities. In September alone, 865,000 women age 20 and older left the workforce, compared with 216,000 men within the same age bracket, according to a National Women’s Law Center analysis of Labor Department data.
  • There are approximately 48 million family caregivers providing care to an adult loved one, which could include caring for close friends, according to AARP and the National Alliance's for Caregiving's "Caregiving in the U.S. 2020" study. As the U.S. population continues to age, and Baby Boomers reach older adulthood, the number of people needing care is only expected to rise. 

If you are a caregiver in neep of help, visit AARP's website for some expert tips.