Report: On the Horizon – quarterly overview of need-to-know trends, for family-inclusive employers


Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions has released its latest quarterly overview of trends to find out about new business policies, valuable client conversations, and what working parents and carers really want.

The trends for quarter two 2021 have been: 

  1. Making hybrid working work: in a recent survey of our clients’ employees, 77% had a preference for a blend of office and remote working. Bright Horizons is currently working closely with its clients on the new range of flexible care solutions to support hybrid working.
  2. Wellbeing and mental health: this is at the heart of many current conversations. People Management found more than three in five (62%) HR professionals said their organisation would provide extra mental health support to those returning from home-working.
  3. Balancing the differential impacts of the pandemic: attention is firmly on balancing the differential impacts of the pandemic, on different groups and life stages; and ensuring a greater sense of belonging for all.
  4. Care as part of the business infrastructure: the debate has been especially heated in the US with calls for more direct funding for care provision. Some US states are looking to legislate to require employers to provide back-up care, enabling employees to access alternative care when usual arrangements fail.
  5. Equipping managers for the new world: managers will play a huge part in making hybrid working a success. What is clear is that performance management will require a clearer focus on outcomes and contribution, rather than on time and specific presence. It also requires a strong human focus on empathy.