Before the recent health crisis, many employees that worked from home in the United States were women. This was often the only way that they could juggle home life with children and still work. However, remote working would sometimes come at a cost and even added to the stress women felt who worked from home. With remote working now increasing for both men and women, is it easier for men on average? Is flexible working bad for women and how can we make it better?
Creating A Work And Homelife Balance
One of the easy traps that remote workers fall into is not having a work and home life balance. Because they are online to the office at home, there is a temptation to work longer hours to get things done than you would in an office.
For women, this includes doing household chores as well as working which can add more stress. Many households still rely more on the woman than the man when it comes to chores and taking care of the children.
With remote working now becoming commonplace, there needs to be a bigger emphasis on creating a balanced work and home life.
Setting Limits On Work Time At Home
Working long hours can be an easy trap to fall into in any job, but at home, the temptation is greater.
Managers and business owners should recognize the need to limit time working at home to a sensible level. This is especially true when many women will do ‘a second shift’ at home doing the chores after work.
It is important to set yourself a time limit that you can stick to at home for your working day. Create a schedule with your contracted hours and pin it in the office or somewhere you can see.
Create Better Opportunities For Progression
Because remote working roles were always limited to a few jobs, there wasn’t always the opportunity to progress within a company.
However, since remote working has become more accessible to all, there should be a greater chance that women can apply for higher-paid roles in the company that are also remote working, or at the least, involve a flexible workspace that can accommodate everyone.
Shared Responsibility At Home
In the past, when men worked at home, they were given time to do so while women looked after the children and house.
A FlexJob’s annual study found that 97% of workers wanted either full-time remote working or a hybrid system.
With the possibility of both men and women now working from home together, there needs to be a shared responsibility toward childcare and chores between parents. Parenting is challenging enough without one parent taking the lion’s share of household duties or child rearing.
If both people set a time for working and time for looking after the kids and home, they can then stagger these times so there is always someone working while the other isn’t.
This will make the work and home life balance easier to manage for both people.
By working with your employer and your partner, there is no reason why remote working or hybrid work cannot be an ideal solution to family life for both people. Parents should have equal opportunity to WFH and fulfill their other parental obligations.