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Parenthood, COVID-19, and Work Outcomes in the DOD

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States around March 2020, it changed the landscape of the work environment, and there was a sudden shift from in-person office work to a substantial portion of the population conducting their jobs remotely. My study evaluates how these changes affected the Marine Corps critical resourcetheir personnel. By combining Marine Corps demographic data with K-12 public school closures data across the United States at the county level, I used four separate performance metrics to estimate the effects that school closures had on productivity among Marines. When the Marine Corps allowed parents the time to take care of their children, I found that it had a positive relationship between remote work and performance when looking at proficiency scores. My study also concluded that the population that suffered from school closures when compared to their counterparts were female Marines with children, when examining the impact on Combat Fitness Test scores. I recommend that the Marine Corps continue allowing Marines with children the flexibility to maintain a healthy work-life balance and find ways to lessen the burden when unforeseen childcare requirements arise. My analysis demonstrates that policies that provide more freedom for Marines to maintain a healthy work-life balance do not negatively affect a Marines performance. Creating new policies to continue the era of remote work in the Marine Corps can benefit the productivity of Marines.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Sociology and Law
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]