Is laundry an issue in your home?

Throughout the pandemic, most of the news focused on the effects of confinement on families due to a more intense coexistence.

Covid19 locked us in our homes and in some houses, troubles began to arise. Day-to-day teleworking from home, fitting in the shopping and managing all the household tasks, forced many families into trying to divide out the tasks, with those who were successful achieving a harmonious home as a result while others failed to come to an agreement.

As Professor Argandoña says in our latest book published by Routledge entitled ‘People, Care and Work in the Home’: “Homes are like companies, in both their members pursue a common goal.” The difference is that a company seeks profitability and a family, the well-being and happiness of its members. In a company, your services are rewarded with a salary at the end of the month whereas with the family, in principle, work should be repaid with gratitude, respect and love.

There are some tasks facing couples that are more challenging than others. For example, doing the laundry can often be a source of conflict. Who is in charge of washing the clothes, taking them out of the machine, drying and ironing them and putting them back in their place? Mr. Jeff, owner of a home laundry business, explains in one of his studies that laundry takes up to 500 hours per year. Therefore, they propose to outsource this service so that the family has more time to relax.

It is a service that will surely help many families, especially those who can afford it. But at Home Renaissance Foundation we have always maintained that housework is not a list of tasks that one must complete throughout the day like a robot. The work of the home helps to build the environment necessary for the development of every person and dignify both those who perform them and the people who benefit from them. And of course, we recognise that they require a great amount of effort that can produce satisfaction over time.

In the home, people are not measured by how profitable or efficient they are. If this were the case, we would not be able to count on little ones and probably not on grandparents either, who at a certain age can no longer carry out the more difficult tasks… At home you are taken care of, you are respected and you are loved. All that is required is commitment and dedication. In return, you receive love and a sense of well-being.

The culture of the workplace has its roots in the home

By Rosemary Roscoe

I’m not normally given to public airings about private matters but I can’t help speaking about this one.
I’ve recently been treated for colon cancer at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, one of the best performing NHS hospitals in the country – and you can see why.
I was given an appointment at the hospital just over a week after my GP requested fast track treatment. A few days later I had a colonoscopy and soon after the biopsy results came through the operation went ahead.
Thanks to the superb skills of a leading Consultant Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgeon and the medical team who performed the challenging 7 hour partial colectomy, the operation was a great success. I was discharged after 3 days and almost back to my normal self within a couple of weeks.

During those few days recovering on the ward I was impressed by how graciously doctors, nurses, health care assistants and physiotherapists attended to every need of some very poorly patients, treating them with such dignity. And their willingness to help each other was reassuring to witness. You would hear someone call out “I’m going to need help moving my patient” and immediately help was at hand. Staying in bed too long was actively discouraged for your own good, with the enhanced recovery team gently coaxing you out of it and into a chair the next day and later on inviting you to walk along the corridor to get the circulation moving.

The nursing staff were constantly monitoring your blood pressure, temperature and oxygen level, administering drips and painkillers or antibiotics, changing dressings and checking how much you had drunk so far that day. Without exception they were professional and polite and remained cheerful throughout their 12 hour shifts. The healthcare assistants were also wonderful – attentively filling up jugs of water, offering hot drinks, asking what you would like to eat, giving bed baths, emptying catheters and drains, putting clean sheets on the bed.

The medical staff appeared to not get a minute’s peace – one nurse worked all weekend while her husband looked after their young child and did night shifts during the week to save on childcare costs. One of the nurses on night shift was heavily pregnant and another worked permanent nights – and yet they were so positive and self-giving.

Their wages are low, hours are long, work often arduous but they choose to work for the NHS. Why? Because they know that what they’re doing is worthwhile and they are people imbued with a deep sense of service who genuinely care about the welfare of others.

Many of the staff were of African or Asian descent and you could tell by the respectful way they spoke to everyone around them that they had come from loving homes where they had been taught patience and understanding and the need to help others. The nurturing that stems from the home clearly must influence the way people work and make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of society as a whole.

Event at the House of Commons

The launch of the Global Home Index results will take place on November 6th at the House of Commons in London. Due to the General Election, the event had to be rescheduled and we would like to thank MS. Fiona Bruce, member of Parliament for her hosting and giving us this opportunity. It will be an honour to present the findings of this international research in order to show the reality of the work of the home in the United Kingdom and around of the world.

So far, United States, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, El Salvador, Portugal, Italy or Spain are only some of the countries where HRF and our two main partners have presented this first report.

We are very pleased to announce that the lawyer Mrs. Miriam González Durántez, Mr. Nick Clegg´s wife, will be our honorary speaker. She is co-chair of the firm’s International Trade and Government Regulation practice at Dechert.

More than 9,000 people from 94 countries across 5 continents participated in this Global Home Index study which you can find here. This first report is a comparative study of 20 countries on the recognition of the work of the home. Please click here to participate, your view makes a valid contribution to society.

Agenda

  • 1.30-2.45pm.: Light lunch refreshments

Jubilee Room at House of Commons

  • 2.45-4.14pm.: For Presentation & Discussion

Committee Room 16 at House of Commons