Working from home has grown increasingly popular as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, which prompted many people to stay at home.
Because of the flexibility and the ability to dedicate more time to personal obligations than before the pandemic, a number of people have embraced this modification in their professional approach.
According to the economist, the hybrid work approach has exacerbated gender disparity at work. The former Citigroup global chief economist also noted that the gender gap in the number of men and women returning to work is widening owing to challenges in obtaining childcare and interruptions in schooling caused by Covid.
As a result, more males are returning to the workplace, while women continue to work from home or in a mixed setting.
Is Working from Home not a viable option for career women?
Because of the difficulty in finding childcare and the interruption in education caused by the epidemic, many women continued to work from home, whereas it was simpler for males to return to work.
Businesswoman Justine Roberts, co-founder of the Mumsnet website, agreed that not being in the workplace posed a risk to women's employment. However, it was up to businesses to be aware of this.
According to a BBC poll, slightly over half of women (56%) believe that working from home would help them advance in their careers as childcare and caring responsibilities become less of a barrier to working full-time.
Mann reinforces the importance for women to attend their workplace in person. She went on to say that being seen in person is an important part of building a career and becoming known in the workplace for women.
Claudia Hupkau, an economics assistant professor at CUNEF, also agreed on this, she said, “Working from home may dilute one’s presence at work and attachment to the workplace by limiting interactions and hindering learning, collaboration and creativity,”
On the other hand, because remote working has become a popular alternative, career women may benefit from it. As this hybrid work paradigm grows increasingly common in our culture, Hupkau believes it has the potential to make work more gender-neutral.
How does this hybrid work model affect the gender pay gap?
Many have argued that working from home cannot be a viable option for women as many are more likely to choose this option in order to take care of their family responsibilities.
Professor Cary Cooper said, “The big question we don’t have the answer to is, during this 15-month period, have enough men said to themselves life isn’t just about work. Did they begin to reprioritise and understand how important the family is?” She also added, “Women will be working substantially from home and the men will go in more days a week than the women, and that will adversely affect their career.”
Given women's larger share of family duties, it's understandable that the perks of remote employment, such as reduced travel time and a more flexible schedule, appeal to them in particular. Working from home, despite its attraction, comes at a high cost for women, who are already behind men in important career indicators such as compensation and leadership representation - a gap that is certain to widen if males outnumber women in the workplace.
Several are already cautious of the potential idea that future workplaces will now be heavily dominated by men.
Women's professional chances would undoubtedly suffer if more males return to work than women. Most males will be offered greater job opportunities, promotions, and other professional incentives than women who choose to work from home.
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