Press release:

When Personal and Professional Lives Collide - How to Approach WFH When the Schools Close

Friday 20 March 2020

The Chartered Management Institute offers new guidance on how to cope in changing circumstances as children are set to become a more visible part of the UK’s working landscape

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has long been a champion of flexible working, but in the unique circumstances we find ourselves in, many have had both working from home and increased parenting duties thrust upon them at the same moment. While these measures are necessary to stem the spread of the covid-19 pandemic, they present parents with a unique set of challenges.

Ann Francke OBE, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute, said:

"At CMI we know that flexible working will be a new experience for many, and tackling this change alongside having to take on increased care responsibilities because of school closures requires honest dialogue and agile management. It will be tough for many of us to juggle the collision of personal and professional life, so have conversations with your staff about what you and they need to make your situation work.”

To that end we have assembled the following suggestions for those who are trying to balance both care and professional responsibilities:

  • As a manager, be flexible, be adaptable, be human - leaders should work to settle the anxiety of uncertainty.
  • Let your team know that you get it - that school closures or other changes in circumstance may mean disruption with children in the background of conference calls or team members ducking out of meetings to see to them - but that by working collaboratively we will make it through these tough times.
  • Build up a picture of how your team’s care responsibilities will change from Monday onwards. Proactively think about how that may impact on certain set pieces or schedules.
  • As a manager, appreciate that your staff may be dealing with anxious, unsettled children or partners, who will need their attention and emotional support.
  • For parents, let your manager know if it would be easier for you to do additional early or late hours to compensate for time spent setting up your children’s activities and overseeing their care.
  • This is all a work-in-progress and we will need to continually adapt as the Covid situation develops. Remain flexible.

- Ends -

Media contact:

John Kaponi Head of Media Relations, CMI

Notes to editors:

Chartered Management Institute 

The Chartered Management Institute is the chartered professional body for management and leadership, counting more than 132,000 managers and leaders in its membership community. There are 7,697 Chartered Managers.

Backed by a unique Royal Charter, CMI is the only organisation able to award Chartered Manager status - the ultimate management accolade, which is proven to boost individuals’ career prospects, management capability and impact in the workplace.