The Covid-19 pandemic did not just change practically every aspect of life, but it also introduced a new vernacular to the world. One of those terms that caught on quickly was “Zooming.”
Zoom is a cloud platform that provides video conferencing, chatting, and webinars. Few businesses have benefited from lockdowns as much as Zoom. The company quickly became the go-to collaborative means to unite people forced out of their places of employment to perform their duties at home.
In short, work and home life were intersecting in, at best, a precarious balancing act that some parents handle with great skill while others struggle with the “new norm.”
Parents Forced to Take on Dual Roles
Those with school-age children were forced to, forced to stay at home as school districts were shutting the doors of their educational institutions. Parents with children too young to attend school had few, if any, options for daycare.
Drisana Rios, an account executive in the insurance industry since August of 2019 and mother of two, found herself sent home in March. Working in her house meant using Zoom to communicate and collaborate with coworkers. Suddenly, the number of people she interacted with face-to-face during a typical workday was down to two: her one-year-old and four-year-old children.
The in-home dynamic presented challenges. Conference calls with rambunctious children in the background created disruptions not only in her home but also via Zoom. Her employer objected to the continuing distractions and eventually fired Rios for failing to control her children during all-important meetings.
The company also questioned her work ethic. Whether there were additional issues during Rios’ short tenure is unknown. She is suing for lost wages and damages for the firing.
In a time of uncertainty that results in significant change, both employers and employees must make an equal effort to create an environment of professionalism. Even if their only interactions are through teleconferencing, all options should be explored to ensure clear communications among all staff members.