The Australian Financial Review this week had a fascinating article about flexible work and the preferences of men and fathers. We often think that flexible work is the purview of women who are mothers. However AFRs survey of 25 of Sydney’s biggest employers this week showed that 24 out of 25 said remote working was here to stay in 2021. What you may not know is that men want flexibility too.
In fact it is men and women who will be looking for more flexibility at work. The pandemic has shown us what’s possible when we allow flexible practices that people can use manage their work and life demands. Men experienced what it’s like to spend more time in the home whilst still being true to their career goals and vocational identity.
Male workers more productive at home
Male workers ( in a US study) reported being more productive while working from home than women. This is because men were able to now allocate more hours towards work that they would have otherwise spent commuting or with other distractions in the office.
Whereas the situation for women is flipped. Women are keeping up with their productivity standards despite juggling competing demands whilst working from home. The study’s results reflect a gender gap that has long existed, but appears to have intensified since the pandemic forced offices, schools and day care centres to close.
That’s in part because women disproportionately still bear the burden of other responsibilities in the home. This includes household chores and taking care of children. It’s almost 2021 and the statistics on the disproportionate burden that women carry for unpaid domestic work remains resistant to change.