Supporting salaried caregivers: a priority yesterday, an emergency today in the face of the pandemic


For nearly a year, the forced requisition of a large number of hospital beds for patients with Covid has pushed many vulnerable people out of these establishments. She also dissuaded many from coming for a consultation despite their poor health. The first were sent home, the others stayed there, with no more access to the care services they needed. At home, these fragile people needed help and support more than ever – sometimes even for actions as simple as moving, washing, eating.

Who took care of these fragile people? Caregivers of course, relatives, parents, friends, neighbors: those who, even before the start of this crisis, were already devoting a significant part of their time – 10, 20, sometimes 30% or even more – to supporting these women and men on a daily basis struggling, needing frequent support. A reality which would not concern less than a fifth of the working population (old age, illness, handicap, autism, accident of life, etc.).

A mental load worsened by the pandemic

These caregivers, as we know, sacrifice part of their personal and professional life to the missions incumbent on them, without however complaining and fully engaged in this daily task which, despite their energy, represents what we call today a significant mental load, in addition to often being a heavy physical load.

The situation of caregivers was already problematic before the arrival of the coronavirus. To the point that our political leaders had ended up being moved by it and started to legislate in order to support them as well as possible. Since early 2020, this situation has obviously worsened. The priority given by our health system to the fight against disease has increased the support of people to be helped by their caregivers. Including in terms of organization and logistics: many of them now find themselves with their weakened loved one at home.

Businesses need to help caregivers – even when working from home

Before the pandemic, however, an awareness of this crucial issue for our society began to be born within companies. A phenomenon that is likely to increase further in the years to come, knowing that half of the employees could well be concerned by the problem of… double aid, in the not so distant future.

Human resources departments, managers and executives were already wondering about the means to relieve the burden on carers and to enhance their commitment internally, which could turn out not to be a burden but a subject of shared pride within their teams. And then came the Covid-19, containment and teleworking. Keeping most of the employees at home, far from constituting an ease for caregivers as some believed at the beginning, on the contrary resulted in an additional difficulty. The physical workplace, often considered by caregivers as a kind of safety valve allowing them to counterbalance a personal life which is sometimes fraught with worries, has disappeared, and with it their fragile balance.

Today, it is essential that the company take into account this degraded situation experienced by employees helping telework. How to organize your time between videoconferences and repeated group calls on one side and help to bring in many acts of daily life to the person being helped on the other side? A puzzle that quickly becomes hell, poorly understood by the human resources departments, fully mobilized by the general reorganization of the company in the face of the pandemic. In this health, economic, social and societal maelstrom, where professional and private life are intertwined, it is not necessary that once again, helping employees be the great forgotten ones in history.

It is notoriously difficult for manufacturers to consistently offer products to the general public of guaranteed quality and novelty. However, these constraints weigh on companies in the cosmetics industry: the sector is indeed highly regulated by legislators, from Europe to China via the USA, but it is also concerned by a need for agility in the world. level of its production. The leaders present therefore have no choice: they are forced to speed up the marketing of new products, without neglecting compliance requirements. A task already difficult at the birth of the year 2020, and which the Covid crisis has further complicated.