- The data rolling in on how Covid has affected women’s work preferences suggests something different. Many women found the benefits of working from home appealing. Tweet This
- More parents of young children desire the flexible work plus shared child care arrangement (30 percent) than actually have it (18 percent), per new IFS study. Tweet This
Fifteen years ago, a nationally representative sample of mothers with children under age 18 were asked to identify their “ideal” work situation: full-time, part-time, no employment, or working for pay from home. At the time, almost one out of every three mothers identified “working for pay from home” as ideal. The problem was that only 1 percent of moms actually had that work situation. In fact, working for pay from home was largely unheard of at that time.
Fast forward 15 years, and the fallout from a global pandemic has opened up what many never thought possible. Perhaps unsurprisingly, parents like it. Recent findings from the Institute for Family Studies/Wheatley Institution survey of 2,500 American adults found that more than half (53 percent) of mothers say Covid-19 has made them more likely to prefer to work from home either most (34 percent) or half (19 percent) of the time.
This finding may be surprising to some. Evidence suggests that moms who worked from home during the pandemic shouldered more responsibility for housework, homeschooling, and child care compared to dads. Some descriptions evoked images of trapped, burdened mothers desperate to escape home and get back into a quiet workplace.
But the data rolling in on how Covid has affected women’s work preferences suggests something different. Many women found the benefits of working from home appealing. When FlexJobs surveyed2,100 people between March and April who were still working remotely due to the pandemic, 60 percent of women identified better work-life balance and more control and flexibility over the work schedule as significant benefits from working at home. More than half (57 percent) said working from home meant they had more time to take care of themselves, cook healthier, and exercise.
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