Remote Schooling Is Causing Employee Burnout, Arlington Firm Says

Working parents are increasingly feeling burnout from juggling a job and remote schooling, according to a new survey commissioned by an Arlington-based consulting firm.

“A new national poll of the U.S. workforce indicates that 65 percent of employees with children in remote learning situations are feeling burnout,” said a press release from Crystal City-based Eagle Hill Consulting.

“Even for workers without remote learning children, the burnout levels also are high – at 52 percent,” the press release continues. “Among workers who are burnt out, many attribute the stress to the COVID-19 pandemic – 42 percent for workers with remote learning situations and 28 percent for those without children in remote learning.”

The survey results come as Arlington Public Schools prepares to welcome back the first group of students for in-person learning on Nov. 4, in a multi-phase process that currently aims to have all students who opt-in back in classrooms, at least part-time, by the end of January.

Arlington Parents for Education, a group formed to push APS to open schools full time, has distributed orange “Open Schools Now” signs to supporters around the county and garnered more than 1,000 signatures on an online petition. But APS is far from the only school system to open the school year with distance learning only, due to health concerns; burnout from parents pulling double duty between work and pandemic-related childcare or schooling obligations is a nationwide phenomenon.

The survey found that 45% of parents with children in remote learning attributed their burnout to their workload, while 42% said it’s about “balancing work and their personal life.”

“These findings shouldn’t be surprising to employers. Families and workers were burnt out even before the pandemic,” said Eagle Hill Consulting President and CEO Melissa Jezior. “Employees are bouncing back and forth between their work computer to their child’s device, struggling to do two jobs at once. The only solution for employers is to work hand-in-hand with employees to meet their individual needs.”

“This isn’t an easy situation for employers to resolve, with work life balance taking on a whole new meaning during this health crisis,” Jezior added.

The survey was conducted last month and included more than 1,000 randomly-selected employees from around the country.

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