She is in charge of the “Corporate Client Business Development” department at Swiss Life. Leading her team from the home office is nothing new for the mother of two. She’s even used to her children taking part in meetings, given the current situation. Ivy Klein (36) on the challenges of home office, lack of intergenerational family moments and bright-eyed children.
What do Swiss families most look forward to after the end of the extraordinary situation? Swiss Life wanted to know more about this so it didn't just ask Ivy Klein, Head of the “Corporate Client Business Development” department. Over 400 Swiss mothers and fathers also told us what they are missing in the current situation. The result of the Swiss Life study shows that:
Families are most looking forward to finally embracing friends and relatives again. They want to visit restaurants. Weekends away and journeys to far-off countries also rank highly on the post-pandemic wish list.
Although families do miss some things in the current situation, the Swiss Life study also shows: just under 90% of families have taken something positive from the restrictions. One in four people who would normally procrastinate, finally have the time to deal with financial issues. That includes private provisions, optimising insurance cover and investments. Just under 5 percent of respondents think it is good that they can now save more. Furthermore, everyday things are suddenly appreciated a lot more: all of a sudden cleaning and doing the chores has become fun, shared family activities are no longer postponed.
The affable manager and mother Ivy Klein also sees the positive side of the current situation. Together with her husband and two daughters Joelle (4) and Nina (1), the 36-year-old has a completely new daily routine:
Interview with Swiss Life employee Ivy Klein
Dear Ivy, how are you at the present time?
So far, I’m very well. I'm healthy and I'm glad my whole family's well, too. I’m also pleased to be closer than usual to my two daughters, so I can observe all the small advances they are making. We have been there for so many precious moments: Joelle has learned to ride a bike and Nina started walking a few days ago.
What do you miss in the current situation?
The home office works well for me. But I do sometimes miss the commute – in keeping with the saying "the path is the goal". I also miss my extended family and our friends. We are used to meeting one to two days a week as an extended circle of family and friends. We have, however, since become accustomed to the new situation.
Which positive aspects do you see?
There's a lot happening in my area right now. It's nice to explore and experience everything we have and can do in a relatively small neighbourhood. I’m also impressed by the solidarity shown by people in all sorts of different ways. In addition, my days, and especially the weekends, have been slowed down by the extraordinary situation – I am now much more focused and also more modest.
Do you have any fond memories of the past few weeks?
Easter was special and very nice this year. Easter Sunday was full of magic and bright-eyed children this year.
Have you discovered new hobbies or interests during this extraordinary time?
I rediscovered the Tagesschau (daily news programme) as a source of news. I particularly enjoy the, to my mind, well selected "corona-free" content.
What are the biggest challenges for you as a mother at the moment?
At the moment, the boundaries between work and private life are even more blurred than usual. There are times when I really want to answer an e-mail immediately. At the same time, Nina is getting really fed up with her frog’s eye view and Joelle wants to tell me something urgently…
How does your current daily schedule differ from your "normal" daily routine?
The main differences to my "normal" day come from spending an extra one to two hours with the children in the morning and spending my lunch break at home. In our "normal" set-up, my husband spends the morning with the children.
How do you use the family time now?
We spend a lot of time outside, which we normally do anyway – either in the garden on the swings, walking or cycling. At the moment, of course, I can play with the children a lot more, read books, do handicrafts with them or quickly sketch something that Joelle can paint. And I walk with Nina – she still likes to hold onto a finger when she goes exploring.
How do you manage to reconcile home office and childcare?
Our children are in daycare on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday, we have a childminder who comes to us with her son, who is almost the same age as Nina. On Friday, my husband and I share the childcare. This model also works for us in the current situation. So our children still have their usual "normality."
How do you manage when children unexpectedly become part of the video call?
The children bring some welcome light relief, if they quickly pop their heads into view to see who mum or dad is talking to.
What are the positive effects of the extraordinary situation at Swiss Life?
Swiss Life has made a "digital push." We have shown that we are in a very good position. We have all the tools, stable systems and can work together well and effectively even in this extraordinary situation. That makes me proud. I would like to thank all my colleagues in IT.
What are you most looking forward to after the extraordinary situation?
I am very much looking forward to our intergenerational family moments – most of all to hugging my parents and my brother. I am also looking forward to the activities and meetings with our friends and the first dinner together in our favourite restaurant (with play area!).
Professionally, I look forward to spontaneous encounters: coming together as usual, exchanging ideas and discussions face-to-face and in the office – free of any virtual aids.
About the study
The online survey on the subject of "Families and positive effects of the corona crisis" was conducted in April 2020 by Swiss Life via an external panel. A total of 408 people between the ages of 25 and 49 were surveyed in German-speaking Switzerland who live in a family household and have at least one child younger than ten years of age.