what do I do about work if my kids are sent home to quarantine?

A reader writes:

After most of us being remote since March 2020 due to Covid, my office is now bringing everyone back a minimum of three days a week, with a clear preference for us to be there more than that. But I have two school-aged kids and every time they have a potential Covid exposure at school, they’ll be sent home for two weeks. They’re not old enough to stay by themselves, so my partner or I will need to stay home with them every time it happens. And I doubt this will just happen once. We could be looking at this happening regularly all winter.

How are parents of young kids supposed to juggle work and childcare responsibilities with offices opening back up and Covid not yet conquered? It feels like employers expect us to be back to normal when we’re definitely not at that point.

You can read my answer to this letter at New York Magazine today, along with answers to these questions:

  • Is it unprofessional to Zoom from your bedroom?
  • How do you take sick days when you work from home?
  • Can you tell job candidates your company doesn’t take Covid seriously?

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