Studies show women prefer remote work more than men, but more men are given remote work opportunities
LONDON, ENGLAND — Even as the majority of UK employees are working in flexible arrangements that allow work-from-home opportunities at least a few days each week, an unfortunate trend is coming to light that must be addressed.
Studies have already taken aim at the gender pay gap that plagues some UK businesses, as well as many others around the world. However, a similar trend could be occurring when it comes to remote work opportunities.
New research from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has found that men are more likely to have remote jobs than women, even in industries that are dominated by women.
This is concerning because other independent studies just this year have shown that women are more fond of remote work than men are, with most opting to work from home rather than return to office whereas the reverse was true for men.
One of the reasons women may prefer remote work more than men is because additional research has shown women and marginalised groups can benefit more from remote work, where they face fewer instances of toxic workplace behaviours like harassment and gossipping, among others.
As such, the fact that the TUC has confirmed men are being offered remote work more than women suggests a disconnect between what is in the best interest of employees and what employers are willing to offer.
Indeed, the TUC’s findings could indicate a disparity between who is offered remote work, and one that must be addressed for a more equitable workforce.
It also raises the alarm on a conundrum experts previously warned about — namely that companies should take care not to create an imbalance by only allowing managers or high-earning executives the privilege of working from home when the entire workforce is more than capable of likewise doing so.
Remote working balance needed
Commenting on these findings, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady argued that UK businesses must make more of an effort to ensure women have equal access to remote work opportunities.
“Flexible working lets people both work and support their families,” she said.
“It’s how we keep mums in their jobs and close the gender pay gap.
“It gives dads more time with their kids, and it helps disabled workers, older workers and carers stay in work.”
However, O’Grady noted, “Too often, women pay a heavy financial price for trying to balance their work and caring responsibilities, being forced to drop hours — and lose pay…
“This isn’t right. We need to ensure everyone has access to as many flexible working options as possible.”
Find the latest remote jobs in the UK via RemoteWorker.co.uk.