American companies are facing a caregiving crisis—they just refuse to acknowledge it. Rising health care and professional caregiving costs and changing demographics over the past few decades have put great pressure on American employees as they try to balance work and care responsibilities. Yet many employers remain largely oblivious to the growing costs of this hidden “care economy”—costs that hurt employers and employees alike.
Many employers remain strangely unaware of the magnitude and impact of the changing demographics of care and their economic consequences. Surveys of U.S. employer and employee attitudes about caregiving reveal that there is a gross misalignment between what companies currently provide and what employees need. Caring companies will also need to invest in understanding the current economics underlying the care burdens borne by employees, especially for basic services such as daycare.
With America’s demographics changing dramatically and the cost of care soaring, many more Americans are dealing with many more caregiving responsibilities for many more people in their lives: children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, and even friends and neighbors. Yet, as a nation, we have failed to take cognizance of the rising burden of unpaid, informal care for millions of Americans. Today, the United States is the only advanced nation in the world that does not offer its workers even the basics required to tackle major life events.
You can find the report and full findings at Harvard Business School.