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Opinion
Sarah Green Carmichael

Be the Coronavirus Boss Working Parents Need

To provide flexibility and establish trust, managers have to set priorities.

Parent working.

Parent working.

Photographer: Carl Court/Getty Images

Just before I sat down to write this column, I wrapped up a quick phone call with a colleague. There were delighted shrieks in the background; apparently his toddler had just seized a crowbar. Such is the new background music of work-from-home life.

Even if parts of the economy soon reopen, many schools, summer camps and day-care centers have decided to remain closed until autumn. And epidemiologists are warning that we may need rolling, intermittent shutdowns to cope with new outbreaks. That means working parents operating in just-get-through-today conditions will have to shift into a more sustainable mode — as will their bosses, who may, of course, be working parents themselves.