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My first post in this awesome community and thank you Hrishikesh for the warm welcome indeed.

Who would have thought a new academic year will restart as the second wave of the pandemic also takes off, throwing most parents again into an exhausting juggling game between working at home and children doing remote learning. (Schools here in the UAE have reopened while also offering the option of remote learning for parents who do not feel safe to send their kids back to school.)

Remote work has proved it's doable but it came at a price - and one would say it is normal given the fact that companies and employees were forced to 'build as they are fly' as the saying goes, and learn as they go since the start of the pandemic.

Sharing with you this article which I posted on my twitter and LinkedIn feeds -

We are all walking a tight rope today- and the next challenge for employers is to remain close to their employees to help them through these times of overwork, overload and prevent their burnout, in a VUCA world everyone read and wrote about - only now we are all living it.


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    Hey Hanadi, welcome again & thanks for sharing this :-)

    I am quite surprised myself that schools have begun despite the threat of the virus still looming. My sister lives in Ireland and has 2 small kids. They aren't even given the option of remote learning and have the penalty of a year back if you miss the school for > 20 days. There's a similar situation in the US where schools are being pushed to open up. In my opinion, schools should be the last to open since the downside of missing school isn't that serious.

    But coming to your original point, I agree that burnout is real and a much bigger threat than we anticipate. More so for working parents. That's why companies like Salesforce are giving extra time off for parents.

    @nancy @Borisov91 @lindsayalissa @aldalima Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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      FYI, schools in France are still open as of now (fall semester started beginning of September).

      Let's see if this is will continue though as case numbers here seem to be going up again as of late. 😨

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        hmm, I recently saw a couple of tweets by people visiting France (Paris in particular) saying that not many are wearing masks in public. Misplaced confidence?

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          I can only speak for my neighborhood in Paris (because it's what I directly witness on a daily basis) where, from March to mid-summer, mask-wearing was minimal.

          However, since August when case numbers started going up for a second time, people have become more respectful of mask-wearing (it's now mandatory even when outside). 😷

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            Ahh, good to know that people are taking precautions again. Can't really use the "inconvenience" of wearing the mask to justify not wearing it! 😑

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        Yes, I'm surprised too. I don't think it's that much of a problem if kids miss a year of school. I even think it would be better for them to graduate high school a little older. In Brazil, you have to go straight to college knowing what you want to study (it's not like in the US where you go to a university and then, over the semesters, you choose what you want to study) — and what 17 or 18-year-old can possibly know what they want to do for the rest of their life?

        Our school year here starts in February/March, so the year is pretty much lost in that regard, but some are still pushing for schools to open, even if we never left our 1st wave.

        I don't have children and can't imagine what parents must be going through with them at home and having to work, especially if they are also adapting to remote work. I've worked for a few consulting companies that focus on corporate culture and improving employee's well-being and life/work balance, and I can see how they could really help in this regard right now. Maybe more companies will consider hiring these services and doing something similar to what Salesforce is doing.

         

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        I feel very privileged these days - both I and my girlfriend work remotely. We are also living together, so being in lockdown was not so much of a burden for us.

        It looks that parents with kids working remotely have difficult times.

        Also, people who unfortunately cannot work remotely, and people from affected industries such as the travel industry.

        Btw, the 2nd wave of Coronavirus has different timing in different countries. France, Spain, UK, and Denmark look to be in a 2nd wave now. While, for example, Kenya is at its lowest after the 1st wave.

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          This is where a lot of HR people have been struggling - the 2nd wave and school setups are different all around the world. For companies that have distributed teams, or teams that have become distributed because of Covid-19, it's hard for HR people to design programs or improve benefits that will help and support everyone when they need it. Should we subsidize childcare for people in one country and provide extra days off for people in other countries? Is it a short-term program for 3 months or is it a brand new "always available" program? There are still a lot of open questions and I think HR people are doing their best to support people in whatever situation they are in, but it's definitely not easy and we're not all getting it right every time.