In this confinement, women go back to doing more housework, home schooling.
“Internationally, surveys show that mothers disproportionately sacrificed paid work to accommodate the increase in unpaid work,” the report says.
Associate Professor Matthew Beck and his team from the University of Sydney Institute for Transport and Logistics Studies have surveyed more than 950 people nationwide during the pandemic. The survey also included 640 people in Sydney who responded during the second week of July this year, the first week of the Sydney shutdown.
The survey found that 240 men and women were working from home during the last lockdown and agreed that women were doing most of the housework, including homeschooling. Overall, nearly 80 percent of people said their experience during the pandemic had better prepared them to work from home during this current lockdown. About 70 percent of people agreed that working from home meant that they and companies were better prepared for interruptions.
“Usually in the past, the vast majority of people only worked from the office, but this has opened up a world where there is now more potential for people to work in a more flexible way,” said the associate professor. Beck.
“That has benefits for the employer, but it definitely has benefits for the employee that can better balance the demands of work and life.
“Some households may choose for a couple to choose to reduce their working hours to better handle the demands of the family during this period, in many cases the woman is likely to do so. This can become more of a burden as the blockage continues. On the positive side, in the longer term, in fact, we could see some women more inclined to rejoin the workforce, if there is more flexibility in where and when the work is done ”.
Sydney attorney Caitlin Akthar starts work around 6:30 a.m. and then gets her two children, ages three and five, ready for the day. The oldest boy started kindergarten this year and has been homeschooled for the first time during this lockdown. During her breaks from online classroom activities, Ms. Akthar focuses on managing her staff. “Everything is new to me,” he says. “I only work longer days. It’s pretty tiring. “
Ms. Akthar said that she did most of the homeschooling and housework because her husband’s job in legal administration was less flexible than hers.
“I think one of the reasons women are doing all of this is because they have more flexible jobs because they have asked for them,” she said. “I think a big part of the solution is that men should ask for more flexible jobs and their bosses should give them to them.”
University of Sydney professor of gender and labor relations Marian Baird said it seemed like women were doing it all, but the novelty of working from home and homeschooling had faded for many during the close of this year. .
“From the employer interviews we did last year and this year, many have accepted that more flexibility is needed in work arrangements and timing,” he said.
“For some, the COVID experience has changed the rules of the game in their attitude towards employee requests to work from home.”
Professor Baird said she believes the closure would further cement the hybrid work model.
“In the long term, I think it will continue to be a requirement to come to the office for more days than you worked at home, and this all depends on the nature of the job,” he said.
While the lockdown may affect working hours, Professor Baird did not think it would affect female participation in the overall workforce. “In fact, participation may increase due to housing costs and fear that members will lose their jobs,” he said.
Dr Rae Cooper, from the University of Sydney Business School, said that women needed to have equal access to ‘face time’ in the office to ensure that they ‘don’t further become the default caregivers in the office. home”.
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