Parents Plan To Quit Jobs That Don’t Allow Remote Working

As businesses go back to in-person work environments, parents are faced with increased financial pressures due to rising childcare and travel costs. Pebble, a flexible childcare provider, surveyed 2,564 parents, revealing that more than half are contemplating leaving their current jobs in search of home-based roles, as employers tighten their working from home policies.

Pebble’s Findings

The survey conducted by Pebble outlined the financial strain and pressure parents are experiencing. Over half of the respondents disclosed feeling pressured to spend extra time in the office, leading to increased childcare costs averaging £166 per week. The additional time spent in the office translates to almost £100 more each week on travel for parents, and for Londoners, this increases to an extra £132.92 weekly.

Lance Beare, the Chief Executive of Pebble, expressed his dismay, stating, “The fact that working parents are actively changing jobs to manage childcare costs is unacceptable and costly for businesses too. Employers need to reassess their company benefits and support the childcare needs of parents so they can afford to keep working.”

The Toll on Lower Income Families

Research from Pregnant Then Screwed, another organisation focusing on the plight of working parents, supports Pebble’s findings. Their survey of 11,811 parents showed that childcare costs are a predominant worry for families, especially those earning less than £50,000 a year. Joeli Brearley, Founder and Chief Executive of Pregnant Then Screwed, expressed her concerns about the current state of the childcare sector, stating it’s pushing new families into debt and onto benefits.

The Hybrid Work Trend

Sky News reported on data from LinkedIn, showing a 34% increase in hybrid job postings compared to last year. Yet, remote job postings have decreased by 28% since the height of the pandemic in August 2021. This shift is causing a ripple effect on working parents. Kevin Ellis, Chair and Senior Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, affirmed his company’s commitment to a hybrid working model, emphasizing the importance of consistency in communication to staff.


Personal Stories of Struggle

A woman, pseudonymously named Sarah, shared her personal experience with Sky News, revealing that the roll back on remote working forced her to quit her job. The imposition of a three-day office rule by her tech employer, coupled with her commute and childcare times, made continuing employment unmanageable.

Joeli Brearley of Pregnant Then Screwed commented on this prevalent issue, “To suddenly pull the rug out means that the costs for those parents will drastically increase, causing many to lose jobs or reduce hours because they cannot cope with the cost or secure the childcare they need.”

Seeking a Middle Ground

Ngaire Moyes, LinkedIn UK Country Manager, pointed out that the spike in hybrid working posts shows the attempt of businesses and employees to reconcile the need for in-person collaboration and the benefits of remote work. She acknowledged the advantages of remote work but also pointed to the type of work that is better executed in-person.

Facing the New Normal

Parents and employers alike are navigating uncharted waters in this post-pandemic era. The balance between the demand for in-person working and the need for flexibility due to childcare and associated costs is a pressing issue.

It shows us the urgent need for companies to revisit working norms to accommodate the changing needs of their employees while ensuring that they still operate effectively. The stories and data from these surveys show a poignant reality. The current trajectory is unsustainable for many working parents. Adaptation and flexibility will be key in forging a path that respects both the operational needs of businesses and the personal and financial needs of employees.