Storm Darcy hit the UK with gusto this week with its snowy and icy conditions causing disruptions across the country. Dangerous travel conditions, plummeting temperatures and disrupted social services like rubbish collection and public transport all impacted the nation in one way or another. However, the impact reached further than just our streets!
As would be expected many schools were forced to close their doors, unable to offer a safe environment for those children of key workers and as such called for a traditional “Snow day”. But unlike a traditional “Snow Day” school closures only had a knock-on impact for a select number of pupils, with the remainder of the nations children still able to access their schooling day on line. But were they?
It seems that across the nation parents have been truly divided in their opinions on how local schools dealt with the impact of storm Darcy locally. Some Head Teachers opted for online schooling to stop altogether, allowing their entire student body the opportunity to enjoy the unique weather conditions. Suggesting that students put down their books and get outside, make snowmen, enjoy the outdoors (whilst of course socially distancing) and breath in some fresh air. Other schools continued business as usual, working through the school day with planned lessons and online activities.
Whilst a “Snow day” was, I am sure, welcomed with open arms by the students of those effected, feedback for some parents working from home was less appreciative. Balancing working from home and supporting home schooling is challenging enough on a normal day however factoring in “Snow play” caused many additional pressures. As a high proportion of students would require supervision whilst enjoying the snow many parents found the balance of the day almost impossible with full schedules and work commitments.
It has been interesting to hear feedback from clients and candidates myself this week, there has been many line managers and organisation supporting the flexibility of enjoying the weather conditions with children. Suggesting that time was taken to get outside and have some balance away from the screen. It was suggested that may people working from home have a tendency to put in more hours than if they were in the office and would in fact get the work done irrespective of a few hours outside.
However, if general news reports are taken into consideration it seems that some company’s may have not had the same outlook those I have spoken with, have not allowed for flexibility and have likely impacted parents stress levels at this time.
With the option of “working from home” looking like it may remain even after the pandemic impact retreats it seems like the traditional “Snow day” may change forever. It will be interesting to see how organisations respond with their staffing policies on such days, whether such flexibilities are written in to people’s contracts and working cultures for the future. I am sure this will impact heavily in peopled decision make process when decided on whether to join an organisation or not.
What are your thoughts on the past week?
Have you and your family enjoyed the snow?
Were you allowed working flexibility to meet the needs of its impact?