WORK.CARE.WORK is a digital platform for and by informal caregivers and stakeholders involved. Central to this platform are two objectives:
- Pooling information on informal care
- Offer some tools to support the dialogue between informal caregiver and employer in finding a workable balance
The solutions of tomorrow for the world of today.
Taking care of a sick or needy fellow human being is probably as old as mankind itself. In 1970, the term "informal care" was first introduced as a form of informal, i.e. non-professional, care.
Today, we see two important trends in the care sector. First, we see the increasing life expectancy and associated aging and silvering of the population. This indicates an ever-growing number of older people in society and implies an increase in care demands and need for help.
Secondly, the socialization of care has been underway for many years. This implies a shift in focus towards informal care, with support from formal care.
The combination of both trends means that the pressure on informal caregivers is increasing enormously and that the interpretation and experience of care is different.
WORK.CARE.WORK 's main focus lies on the combination of caregiving tasks with the professional environment.
When this combination is not balanced, it will have serious consequences for the mental well-being of the informal caregiver. This often manifests itself in overburdening, unwellness and absenteeism at work.
The goal of WORK.CARE.WORK is to improve the well-being of working informal caretakers by offering a digital platform that promotes dialogue between employer and employee in the search for workable solutions. We want to give this topic more attention and make it more open for discussion, so that the combination of caring tasks with a part-time or full-time job becomes bearable.
To facilitate this, we focus on informal caregivers, employers and HR personnel.
On the one hand, we want to give caregivers the opportunity to inform their direct supervisor, HR department and/or employer about their situation in an accessible way and to encourage them to ask for help or solutions in difficult periods.
On the other hand, we want to make employers and HR personnel aware of the large presence of informal caregivers in the workplace and the importance of a informal caregiver-friendly HR policy. We want to offer them the tools to get started themselves and roll out a informal care-friendly HR policy in their organization.
The design proces.
The WORK.CARE.WORK platform is the result of an intensive design process, composed of 4 phases:
(1) User research and needs analysis
(2) Co-creation and concept development
(4) Digital development.
Throughout all phases of the project, both target groups, informal caregivers and employers or HR, were closely involved. The voice of the end user was heard throughout the entire project. This resulted in the digital platform WORK.CARE.WORK.
The finished design contains:
- Information about informal care to informal caregivers and their employer, HR responsible and/or direct supervisor;
- Relevant tools to support the dialogue between the informal caregiver and employer in finding a workable balance between work and care tasks.
Now that the platform is ready and available, the story really begins and we want to use WORK.CARE.WORK to help as many informal caregivers as possible.