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How Workday Student Is Transforming the Student Experience

Matt Sherman, our general manager of Workday Student, shares highlights about our student system and the momentum we’re seeing as more and more higher education institutions look to transform and elevate the student experience.

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming higher education . From responding to the shift in remote learning to finding new ways to keep students engaged, institutions need to become more agile than ever to keep up with evolving student needs. Guided by our core value of customer service, Workday supports organizations in being more flexible in the face of constant change. That’s why I’m excited to share that 18 higher ed institutions have successfully gone live on Workday Student in the past year alone—all through virtual deployments. 

As general manager of Workday Student, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of the highlights of the conversations I’ve been having about our student system and its impact on the student experience as more and more higher ed institutions are looking to transform. 

How is Workday Student helping higher ed institutions?

There is often a combination of factors that prompt higher ed institutions to make a change, but ultimately they’re looking to elevate the student experience and receive insights to help them improve their educational offerings and connection with their students. As a cloud-based system, Workday Student supports universities in being more flexible and reliable, providing visibility into the data and information they need to make informed decisions about the future. 

For example, a college concerned about international enrollment would have the advantage of collecting and maintaining its enrollment and financial data in a single system, so it can track student admission trends and how that affects overall tuition revenue. And, as a solution that maximizes student engagement, Workday Student equips institutions with the tools to improve student retention rates and enable academic success.

What differentiates Workday Student from other student information systems (SIS)?

A majority of institutions use student information systems that are at least 20 years old—older than many of their students. These institutions are struggling with outdated systems, and want to move to a cloud-based solution that offers a consistent, user-friendly digital experience with more personalized engagement—enabling students to register for courses, track their work study hours, manage financial aid, and request an advising appointment, all through a mobile device. We’re truly able to meet these students where they are—a benefit more crucial than ever before. 

I’m excited to share that 18 higher ed institutions have successfully gone live on Workday Student in the past year alone—all through virtual deployments.

What are some recent product innovations in Workday Student?

Because our focus remains on delivering a student system that puts the student first, we’ve prioritized new innovations to deliver a simplified, mobile-first user experience. We continue to innovate with Workday Student, with more than 1,100 product enhancements over the past year across admissions, advising, financial aid, academic records, and student finance, aimed at automating and streamlining student operations, while delivering an engaging student experience.   

With easy access to information and tasks across advising, academic planning and registration, student records, and financial services, we’ve enhanced the experience with two new Workday People Experience hubs: academics and finances. For example, i​n the academics hub, students have access to a variety of information and tasks—such as academic progress, advising appointment summaries, and registration activities— which enables them to edit their academic plan and update course selections from any device.  

Can you share some examples of how Workday Student customers have digitally transformed?

Organizations such as Brandeis University, California College of Arts (CCA), Furman University, Palm Beach State College, Tallahassee Community College, and Wellesley College have deployed Workday Student to derive better insights on student engagement, increase productivity for the academic staff, and remain nimble to adapt to change. Let me give a few examples: 

In spring 2020, CCA used Workday to track student engagement when learning was pushed online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. CCA was able to blend academic and financial information from Workday Student, with external data sources using Workday Prism Analytics , to receive a holistic view into a student’s academic activity while they were engaging with course content remotely. 

At Furman University, students use Workday Student to make counseling or tutoring appointments, access transcripts, and register for courses. With Workday, Furman reduced the average course registration processing time from several weeks to 15 minutes.  

With native reporting and analytics available in Workday Student, Tallahassee Community College is able to more effectively elevate the student experience by identifying the reasons why students are requesting advisor appointments, and making processes—such as enrollment—more efficient.     

We’ve seen great traction with Workday Student, with many live and happy customers who are seeing measurable results. But the work doesn’t stop there—I look forward to continuing to work with our customers to innovate the product to meet their needs and help ensure their students' success, and I’m excited for the opportunity that lies ahead.

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Workday Student 101—What You Need to Know

Home > Insights > Workday Student 101—What You Need to Know

As is true of many things in the world, higher education has undergone massive changes within the last year. And, many institutions are struggling to keep up with the shift to remote and hybrid learning, decreased funding, and rising enrollment costs.

Add the fact that many institutions are still operating on outdated legacy technology solutions, and it’s clear that something has to give. Colleges and universities need a way to navigate the changing higher education landscape. Enter Workday Student.

Workday Student to the Rescue

If modern places of learning are going to survive, they need to be agile enough to meet evolving student needs, which is where Workday enters the picture. And, many institutions nationwide are joining the movement by designing and executing their own customized Workday Student implementation.

Workday Student is designed for today’s modern campuses and is developed in conjunction with some of higher education’s top institutions.

In this article, we’ll “school” you on all the benefits, key features, and some of the latest product enhancements of Workday higher education so you can see how it stacks up against other student information systems. 

Ready to get started? Class is in session!

What is Workday Student?

Workday Student is an end-to-end student and staff lifecycle information system that works seamlessly with Workday Financials, Human Capital Management (HCM), Workday Adaptive Planning, and Workday Grants Management.

It’s a cloud-based solution designed to unite your whole campus under one application, reducing system friction and making for a more seamless experience.

Workday Student Features

Workday is helping higher education institutions, including Tallahassee Community College, Furman University, and Palm Beach State College, better serve students and leaders with the following features:


Thanks to its flexible architecture, this system provides an amazing level of personalization. For example, calendaring, academic policies, curriculum, billing, and more come with configuration options and business processes. It will feel like the solution was designed specifically for your institution’s unique needs.

Role-based User Experiences 

Workday Student’s features revolve around the user at any college or university, whether that’s a student, a professor, or an administrator. Users can customize accessibility and data sharing and can even view their profiles on their mobile devices. Students, for example, can give their parents access to their portal to see their class schedules, pay for tuition, view academic progress, and more. 

Enhanced Reporting 

This system includes native reporting and unified data to enhance reporting for end users. With a single solution, you can combine Workday HCM, Financial Management, Payroll, and Student data to gain insights into every aspect of your organization, from payroll to work/study eligibility. 

Unified Solution 

Along the same lines, there’s no need to hop into different tools to get the information you want. With Workday, you can unify every application from Financial Management, HCM, Planning, and more into a single platform, giving you access to real-time, accurate information at your fingertips. 

Who Uses Workday Student?

According to Workday, 26 universities and colleges have successfully gone live on Workday Student over the past year through virtual deployments. Workday’s Student system is also accessible for all students, staff, and higher education administrators at their respective colleges or universities.

Benefits of Workday Student

Workday has changed the higher education landscape, especially in the era of remote learning, by offering new and improved accessibility and functionality. Here are some of the benefits these institutions are experiencing: 

  • Better student engagement and mobile experiences 
  • More self-service options for students, faculty, and staff to take control of their journey
  • Lower IT costs with cloud technology
  • Enhanced reporting and insights with a unified, single platform for real-time records
  • Empowered students who can plan courses and get access to academic eligibility and progress when they need it

Recent Product Innovations in Workday Student

Not only are the capabilities pretty great right now, but Workday continues to innovate with more than 1,000 product enhancements across financial aid, student records, student finance, admissions, course planning, student employment, and more to help automate operations. 

New Additions

Workday has also added two new Workday People Experience hubs for finances and academics. The academics hub gives students access to information like academic records, course progress, appointments, and registration information. It also allows them to edit their academic journey on their schedule from any device. 

Workday will continue to enhance the product even further, which means that investing in Workday education is investing in a solution that will adapt to industry changes. 

Deploying Workday Student at Your Campus 

Keep up with the rapidly changing world of higher education with your own unique implementation. And if you want to get an A+ on the project, you’d be wise to bring in an experienced Workday Student consultant to help out. 

How Can We Help?

At Surety Systems, our  senior-level Workday consulting team  has the skills you need to plan, configure, implement, and maximize the technology.

Our team also has expertise in advising your integrations with existing applications and ensuring you get a comprehensive solution designed for your institution’s specific needs.

  Contact us today  to get started!

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Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students

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The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities

How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.

Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.

In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.

One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:

“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”

[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >> 

While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.

Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .

Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.

“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”

When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.

While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.

In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.

What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.

In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia. 

Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.  

School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school. 

Homework improves student achievement.

  • Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012. 
  • Source: IZA.org, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys. 

Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.

  • Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.

Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.

  • Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
  • Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.

Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.

  • Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day. 
  • Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
  • Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
  • Source: Phys.org, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.

While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects. 

Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels. 

  • Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
  • Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.

Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat. 

  • Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
  • Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.

Homework highlights digital inequity. 

  • Sources: NEAToday.org, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016; CNET.com, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
  • Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
  • Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.

Homework does not help younger students.

  • Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.

To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.

For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.

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It’s Even Bleaker for Teachers Than You Thought

Desks fill a classroom in a high school

M s. S. teaches English and math in a low-income neighborhood in New York City. She's one of the most experienced teachers at her school, having been there two years. She has a business degree, but school recruiters kept contacting her after she graduated so she decided to try teaching. "I really enjoy the quality time that I get to spend with these kids," says Ms. S., who is not using her full name, because she has not been authorized by her school to speak. "They're a lot of fun to be around."

But it's not easy. "The turnover is just so high," she says. "I think only eight of us returned out of maybe 40 new teachers from last year. And of those people, only maybe five of us are still here." She's in a class with 30 students and another teacher, because it's the integrated co-teaching class, where students with disabilities and those without disabilities learn together. Neither she nor her co-teacher, who just started teaching this year, have any training in education, let alone in instructing children with disabilities.

A constant struggle for Ms. S. is bridging the gulf between the minimal resources available to her and the maximal expectations parents and the school's administration place on her. Recently the principal of her school (also new this year) brought 15 extra students to her class because they had finished a test earlier than other students. In the chaos, a scuffle broke out. At pickup that day, a mother of one of the students involved publicly railed against Ms. S., and none of her managers were available to help her handle it. "You have to be someone who's able to take a lot of feedback," says Ms. S. of her job. "You have to be able to handle stress very well."

Read More: Many Americans Have No Idea How Their Kids Are Doing in School

Her workday starts at 7 a.m. and finishes at 4:15 p.m.—if parents are on time for pickup. And there always seems to be work after she gets home. "It's difficult to see other people get home from work and be able to relax and there's still things that I have to get done," she says. "I have to call a parent and discuss what happened today, and post the homework and grade the homework every single day. I want to just be social and make dinner and have a nice, enjoyable night, but it's like there's so many other things that I'm still behind on, so it's kind of a constant stress."

According to newly released research from Pew Research Center, Ms. S.'s experience is widely shared. Pew found the mood among teachers is grim. More than half of respondents would not recommend the career to a young person. More than two-thirds of them said they find teaching overwhelming, perhaps partly because, according to 70% of them, their school is understaffed.

The Pew report, What's It Like to Be a Teacher in America Today , which was compiled from an online survey of 2,531 U.S. public K-12 teachers in late 2023, also found more than 90% of teachers said poverty, chronic absenteeism, and anxiety and depression were problems in their schools, with about half citing these issues as major problems. Ms. S., who works in a high-poverty area, say her bosses push for results that match schools in less poverty-stricken neighborhoods. "We all try to tell leadership that that's an unrealistic expectation," she says. "Our parents are working two jobs and they simply don't have the time or money to hire tutors, or tutor their kid when they get home from work. If they have night jobs, they're not around after school."

But there are student behaviors that make their job even harder. Almost half of the teachers surveyed said students show little to no interest in learning, and the numbers were worse in high school. A third of teachers overall said cell phones are a major distraction —and 77% of high school teachers. Almost 60% of teachers said they have to deal with students' behavioral issues every day, and the numbers rise as the neighborhood around the school gets poorer. More than two-thirds of teachers in Pew's survey said they have experienced verbal abuse from a student. And, according to teachers, they can't rely on parents to help: almost 80% of them told Pew that parents do too little to hold their children accountable for misbehaving in class.

Read More: How to Make School More Equitable for All Students

For Ms. S., the students have been a highlight. She was thrilled when she was able to help one young woman she noticed was bright but misbehaving. "She went from failing at the beginning of the year to passing every single day," she says. "She just needed someone to believe in her."

Because of experiences like that, teaching used to be considered one of the most fulfilling careers available, but Pew's figures show that teachers now have less satisfaction than the average American worker. Reports of low teacher morale have been breaking out everywhere. One 2023 study using Rand data showed the proportion of teachers who said they were enthusiastic about their job plummeted from just over 60% in 2010 to a mere 20% by 2020. And according to Education Week's new Teacher Morale Index , the mood among elementary-school teachers is particularly low.

The dissatisfaction is partly a byproduct of the pandemic and the widening political divisions that have seen schools becoming battlegrounds. On top of those social frictions are fights over curriculum , rising parental distrust in the public school system, and the increased workload that comes with accommodating the students' many mental-health challenges . The Pew report illuminates a lot of that discontent, but one figure stands out. Teachers are especially disheartened with what they're paid; only 15% of public-school teachers say they're very happy with their salary. Ms. S. notes that her roommates make as much money as she does but don't have to work when they get home.

The number of people undertaking teacher-training courses dropped 33% in the decade between 2011 and 2021, and a recent study found almost 80% of schools struggled to find enough qualified teachers. And while more than half of teachers still find their job to be fulfilling, a full 30% told Pew it's likely they'll look for a new job this academic year and 11% say it's extremely likely.

As for Ms. S., staying at her school is no longer an option. Her many responsibilities have kept her from keeping up with the master's program her school requires to continue teaching there. She'll probably not make it through her exams. "This would have been my third year," she says. "I actually have some experience. And now that I finally learned how to do it, they're kicking me out."

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Though the rise of remote work has been praised for providing greater work/life balance, many parents are finding that being away from the office can also have serious drawbacks, according to a new study shared exclusively with USA TODAY.

Roughly 4 in 10 parents say that when they work from home, there are times they go days without leaving their house, while 33% say they "feel very isolated,'' when working remotely, according to the ninth annual Modern Family Index, conducted by The Harris Poll for Bright Horizons, a global provider of early education, child care and workforce education services.

Their angst comes at a time when employers' empathy for the challenges of juggling parenting with work is waning, says Bright Horizons CEO Stephen Kramer, leading more moms and dads to again worry about finding accessible, affordable child care while fretting that family responsibilities could derail their climb up the career ladder.

"There should be a real worry about the mental health impact and isolated feelings employees have because of remote work,'' Kramer says. "I think ultimately early in the pandemic, employers felt they were providing good support to working parents by offering more flexible schedules, but that’s come at a cost and we’re at a place where providing real support to working parents is even more critical than the flexible work schedules.''

Flexibility matters but some worry about career

To be sure, many parents cherish the flexibility that a remote or hybrid work schedule gives them.

Among working parents, 36% said they felt somewhat more fulfilled at their job than they did three years ago, and 58% of that group said flexible schedules were a factor in that satisfaction.

But 35% of parents who work from home part of the time believe their hybrid schedule is negatively affecting their careers, and 40% would like their managers to advise them on how much time they should be in the office.

Fathers were particularly concerned, with 44% of working dads fearing that if they utilize benefits aimed at work/life balance, it would negatively affect their performance evaluations.

Some may be right to worry. "In the beginning stages of the pandemic and during the most difficult parts ... employers were actually quite sympathetic to the challenges of working parents when all the child care centers were closed and schools went remote,'' Kramer says. "That has almost completely waned ... and the expectation today is that employees will be productive for their employers and at this point they will have figured out how to do their family responsibilities.’'

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Juggling jobs and family

Roughly 8 in 10 parents who work remotely at least part of the time juggle jobs with their family responsibilities during the workday, with 47% running their kids to activities and 44% helping their children with their homework.

A quarter of working parents who are doing that double duty hardly ever mention their workday parenting tasks to their supervisors, while 41% say they sometimes believe they need to hide their personal responsibilities from their co-workers.

Such multitasking is necessary as the search for child care – already difficult before the pandemic - became harder during the health crisis and has yet to recover, Kramer said.

“Given the scarcity of child care, there is really concern about access to child care spaces and places,'' he says. In addition to worries about the quality of providers, "there is also a real challenge around affordability.''

Essential or front-line workers who often had to be on-site during the pandemic are particularly hard hit, with the Bright Horizons report finding that 44% say it's hard to juggle their work schedules around child care as compared to 28% of their peers. Only 49% of those workers say their employers have changed or added benefits that better support them, while 57% of their working parent peers say they've gotten such additional assistance.

Child care a constant struggle

But while essential workers have more of a struggle, child care and services for older children remain an issue for working parents across the board.

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"Whether you’re working from home or from the office, the reality is that you can’t be both a productive employee as well as a full-time caregiver,'' Kramer says.

Employers are taking heed. Those who offer on-site child care centers are finding "it’s been an incentive for them to get their employees back to the office since those employees who use the center see the worksite not only as a place to work but also as a place to bring their children,'' he says.

Backup child care is also becoming increasingly popular, with more than 200 employers that work with Bright Horizons starting to offer that benefit during the pandemic, its largest increase over a two-year period.

JP Morgan Chase's employees have a mix of schedules, with its most senior staffers back full time, others who can do their jobs with a hybrid schedule on-site at least three days a week, and half their staffers having worked at their locations throughout the pandemic.

The company has 13 on-site child care centers, and since the pandemic has expanded its child care offerings both at corporate locations and near where staffers live.

"The needs of our employees really shifted so we pivoted our strategy,'' says Lilly Wyttenbach, head of Global Wellness at JPMorgan Chase.

One key change is enabling employees whose children no longer need child care to access other services. For instance, the company offers subsidized backup child care to employees 20 days a year. Now they can use four of those hours for their children to receive virtual tutoring.

"We unlocked this benefit of backup child care that tends to be for younger children to a greater number of parents,'' said Wyttenbach, adding that the benefit is being used by parents who are both hybrid and in the office full time as many children continue to catch up academically after falling behind during the pandemic.

Backup child care has been a lifeline for Neha Mehrotra, 32, a marketing manager for PayPal who is the married mother of two daughters ages six years old and six months.

During a two-week period when neither her parents nor her mother-in-law was available to watch her infant, "backup care stood (in) for us,'' she says. Without the in-home provider who was able to help out, the "hybrid work environment becomes very difficult and in-office work becomes impossible. So in that case, this benefit has really helped.''

Unlike some parents, Mehrotra has also found her hybrid schedule, which allows her to go into the office one day a week and work the rest of the time from home, to be ideal.

“I thoroughly enjoy the flexibility of working from home and also having the opportunity to see my colleagues and have some adult time,'' says Mehrotra, who lives in San Jose, California. Having a largely remote schedule after the birth of her second daughter is a sharp contrast to the experience she had working full-time in an office after the birth of her first.

"This time around my daughter came post-pandemic and I was in this new hybrid work culture,'' she says. "I can see the vast difference in my mental health. I have time for myself. I've given my commute hours to yoga and meditation and ... at the end of the day, when I’m done, I open the door and I see my kids."

Mental health services

For others, however, who are struggling emotionally, mental health support is another key benefit workers are seeking and some employers are aiming to offer.

JP Morgan Chase has a new partnership with Spring Health that will provide customized mental health care plans, free coaching and free therapy that can be scheduled at any time to its U.S. employees and their family members.

"The pandemic exacerbated access and affordability issues'' for mental health care, says Wyttenbach, adding that the company has offered off-site and onsite clinicians and counseling for years, but is now enabling employees to see therapists who are part of their health plan's network without paying a deductible.

Such benefits are necessary, Kramer says.

"There are working parents ... who say they go for days without going outside their house. That’s clearly not healthy,'' he says. "Others are really concerned about their career mobility given their either hybrid or remote schedule ... Ultimately, there are things employers need to be doing in order to make that balance more realistic for employees. And providing child support, backup care support and mental health supports are all things they need to do and have started to do coming out of the pandemic.’’


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