Most people prefer working from home, but men had a much easier time during lockdowns because women still had to shoulder a greater share of the housekeeping burden, according to a study.
Over 60% of those surveyed said that working from home was a positive experience, but women reported that they were less likely than men to have the ideal equipment and space to work from home, according to the study.
The research was commissioned by ASB Bank, a New Zealand-based lender, and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
“Our study makes it clear that although flexible working has many benefits, it also highlights the difference between what men and women are expected to do around the home, particularly with kids being at home more,” said ASB CEO Vittoria Shortt.
“With women still taking on responsibility for the bulk of domestic chores, the risk is that they are being disadvantaged both at work and in the home, trying to juggle two roles.”
The study found that women had to take on greater responsibilities when it came to schooling youngsters who were forced to stay home as schools closed down due to the pandemic.
According to the research, 56% of women said they did most or all of the home-schooling while just 22% of women said that the burden was shared equally between women and men.
“COVID has created a challenge for families, with parents required to home school their children during lockdowns on top of their normal work life which is an unrealistic expectation,” Shortt said.
“We can see from the research that this is a responsibility women tend to pick up more…”
The study found that men were more likely to occupy the study or office in their house or apartment. Male managers were also more likely to want their staffers to be physically back in the office while women were more likely to prefer to stay remote.
Of those who preferred to work from the office, men were more likely to want to return due to the need to be seen by their colleagues while women were more likely to value social connections in the workplace, according to the research.