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Does the Return To the Office Spell Bad News For Women?

  • February 03, 2022
Does the Return To the Office Spell Bad News For Women?

It is thought that proximity bias may now hurt your career.

If you are somebody who is choosing to stay working from home more than the rest of your office, it is believed that your career may suffer as a result of this.

This needs to be stopped before it starts.

It is down to companies to make sure that the transition from working from home back into the office for your staff does not hinder those that are choosing to spend more time working from home than others in the office.

If there is some imbalance between the two working groups this will soon prove to be an undesirable workplace for people to be in.

There needs to be a focus on allowing your staff to have the best environment for them to succeed.

Certain groups are more likely to request working from home more than others, particularly women.

This consequently means that when in the office, workplaces need to think thoughtfully about the opportunities that are created within the office environment and make sure that those who are working from home know about these opportunities too.

The worry here is that this may not happen and then those working from home will be at a disadvantage to those in the office, causing a division between male and female workers.

According to a survey, 56% of women stated that they believed working from home would allow them to progress at work.

This is concerningly low, with nearly half of women believing that they will be punished in a way if they do not spend all of their working hours within the office.

One reason for women opting to spend more time working from home still is to do with childcare. Findings suggest that during the pandemic mothers were often the ones whose careers were more often interrupted than fathers even when the mother was earning more.

Not only this but mothers also tended to do much more of the housework as well as childcare whether they were earning more or less than the fathers.

This is clearly a deep rooted issue as women are expected to take on the majority of childcare but are still also expected to maintain their work standards. They are now meant to be a super mum and a super worker simultaneously whilst men did not need to worry about this and could go back to the office as soon as needed.

These findings showed that mothers with a lower pay did double the amount of housework and 41% more childcare than higher-paid fathers, whilst mothers with a higher pay did 6% more housework and 22% more childcare than lower-paid fathers.

These percentages are clearly not balanced, so it cannot merely be a matter of the parent with the higher earning job should focus more on work than the parent earning less. It is more often down to the mother to handle the housework and childcare.

So, with these expectations simultaneously put on women it is hard to know what exactly they should do.

As a result of this, a lot of women are opting for the work from home option and so should not be penalised by the office culture because of it. Companies should make an active effort to ensure that those working from home are not at a disadvantage as all of the workers are doing their fair share of work whether they are in the office or not.