Fuel Your Imagination

Publicis•Poke salutes its home-schooling heroes with half-term activities

A week of half-term activities from Publicis•Poke shines a light on the practical and creative ways the industry can support working parents.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director

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If you have been attempting to home-school whilst also working, the chances are you need a break. Yet in the context of a global pandemic a ‘half-term holiday’ might present itself as yet another problem to solve while working parents across the industry are reminded on an almost daily basis that it's not possible to do two things at once, especially if one of those things is Year 2 maths.

But it is possible for companies to recognise the stress parents are facing. The industry can learn by celebrating and highlighting the companies striving to make a positive difference to their employees' daily grind.

Perhaps one of the biggest stressors of this third lockdown is the truism that just because we have done it before, it doesn’t make it any easier. Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to that most impossible of tasks: attempting to home-school your children, whilst also working.

While we may look back with wide-eyed disbelief at how far we have come since the initial lockdown, reflecting fondly on a time when our biggest fear was now the daily norm of our children appearing on video calls. Yet almost a year into the pandemic and the risk is that as an industry we collectively forget the pressures that this pandemic is placing on the industry’s greatest asset: its people.

The idea is that these are daily virtual distractions for kids, and therefore parents, hosted by some of the lovely folk at Publicis•Poke.

Trent Patterson

A positively creative response to the challenge

From living in cramped, shared accommodation to juggling home-schooling and the lack of connectivity that can come from living alone, no two experiences of the pandemic are the same. But as Publicis•Poke’s creative response to the half-term activity void shows, there can be a creative and positive response to these challenges.

For while printers up and down the country breathed a sigh of relief this week as the nightly ritual of printing out sheets for home-schooling activities was shelved for a week for half-term holidays, parents were left asking a different question: what are we going to do to entertain children at a time when life is so limited?

It's a question that the Publicis•Poke team have answered creatively with a week-long series of events ranging from kids Yoga to drawing, coding, music and biscuit decorating.

Trent Patterson, Managing Director at Publicis•Poke explained: “Now more than ever trying to educate and keep our little ones amused, both critical to their development, at the same time as work is particularly tough on our mental and physical wellbeing. This week is half-term, and that only highlights the challenge further.”

This is why the company has set up the Publicis•Playtime sessions. Patterson adds: “The idea is that these are daily virtual distractions for kids, and therefore parents, hosted by some of the lovely folk at Publicis•Poke. Hopefully a bit of fun that will lend a little helping hand to parents in what will be a week full of juggling.”

It’s a reminder of the importance not just of telling your staff what you stand for but demonstrating that in your actions. For parents, not just recognising the challenge that they face, but showing up to solve some of those problems in the midst of a global pandemic, is a powerful reminder that sometimes it's the little things that matter most.