Why Employers have Back-to-School Blues, Too

back-to-school employee benefits

In theory, the annual business year is a single, 12-month fiscal or calendar year. In practice, it's more like two work seasons (January through May and September through early November) bookended by two lengthy vacation seasons (winter holidays and summer vacations). That makes right now; the late summer, back-to-school season -- theoretically one of your most important periods. But theoretical productivity only becomes actual work if your employee benefits can handle the very real challenges of the season. What are the typical roadblocks?

The September two-step

The first back-to-school month is more of a zig-zag than a forward march. Experienced parents are grappling with incessant days off that keep them from finding their footing. And parents of kindergartners are adjusting to life without the workday-friendly rhythms of child care.

College panic

Senior year is the moment families have been working toward for their child's whole life ; and they only get one shot at it. Is it any wonder some parents of high school seniors are spending more than ten hours of weekly work time on their child's college search?

Absent eldercare

Back-to-school is more than just school children; it also includes college students who might have been checking in on mom and dad all summer. The shift leaves a giant hole where care arrangements used to be.

Fiscal cliffs

Got debt? Newly minted grads do now; as loan grace periods expire, leaving them budgeting or panicking about how to pay their share of the $1.4 trillion in college debt.

Snarled traffic

Say goodbye to the smooth sailing of summer, and hello to the return of gridlock, and red-faced commuters swearing their way through hours of driving at rush hour -- or bleary eyed 4 am wake-up calls to avoid it.

Back-to-School - Back to Work

What does the above say? Only that post-summer challenges transcend back-to-school. It's also a reminder that "family" means more than young children, and so family benefits shouldn't end when preschool does. A strategic program will do more than solve the September shuffle; it will share the support of benefits throughout your entire workforce. And that will protect your bottom line no matter what season you're in.

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.