The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed how all of us live our everyday lives. The stress of trying to balance the needs of our families and individual workloads can seem overwhelming at times, especially as the fall semester gets underway.
Washington University in St. Louis remains committed to supporting faculty and staff as they continue to manage their work-life balance, especially now while many are working from home.
The Department of Human Resources recently opened an online portal that outlines the scope of the university’s employee benefits and includes links to information about child care, elder care and self-care.
“We understand that the pandemic has created new challenges outside of work for some faculty and staff,” said Henry S. Webber, executive vice chancellor and chief administrative officer. “We provide a variety of assistance and benefits to help address those challenges, and we encourage university employees to explore the options that might be most helpful for their circumstances. Those include child and family care solutions, 24/7 direct access to guidance consultants via our employee assistance plan, targeted mindfulness sessions via Zoom and free wellness consultations to address the challenges working from home can present.”
As Washington University welcomes its students back to St. Louis and campus, the younger children of faculty and staff also have headed back to school. Many of these children are learning from home, or in a hybrid situation, which can be especially stressful and complicated for working families.
“The health and well-being of our employees is of utmost importance,” said Legail P. Chandler, vice chancellor for human resources. “We know that the balancing act of being caregivers, parents, employees and now, in some cases, educators, is an enormous strain for families. In response, the university has increased its number of uses of backup care — for children or elders — from 15 to 30 uses per year, for benefits-eligible employees. We are also in the process of hiring a child care concierge, who can review various care and education options with employees.
“We want to remind employees that this benefit portal is up and running and ready for them to review. We hope everyone will take advantage of these resources in the ways that are most helpful to them. We are all in this together, and together we will get through this unprecedented and disruptive time.”
Review the online COVID-19 employee well-being support portal here.