Remote work: The gift that keeps on giving for women

Remote work has many benefits for workers everywhere and of all kinds. But, for women, it unlocks even more opportunities.

Just about everyone of working age has a reason to love remote work: no more commuting, more sleep, better work-life balance, and the list goes on.

Studies have already noted that marginalised groups of workers tend to appreciate remote work more because it helps to alleviate some of the challenges they often face in an in-person office.

But new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as analysed by Public First, is drawing attention to the fact that remote work holds the promise of extra perks for workers who are women.


Higher labour participation

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More women were working full-time in the UK in 2023 than in 2019. (Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels)

The ONS confirmed that more women are working full-time this year than from before the pandemic, inching closer to closing the gap in participation between men and women across the UK.

It was Public First’s analysis, however, that made the connection between the increase in labour force participation among women and remote work.

The firm pointed out that the biggest increases were made in industries that had the highest percentages of remote and hybrid work, namely sectors like insurance, IT and professional services — encompassing fields like accounting, marketing, legal services and others.

Additionally, the ONS found that mothers in the UK were working more and working longer hours than they were before the pandemic.

Public First again signalled that this could be due to more remote and hybrid work opportunities that allow mothers to continue working instead of having to leave the labour force.

The findings shed light on some of the significant ways flexible work is proving to be a great friend to the working women of the UK.


Levelling the playing field

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Remote work is helping to close the labour participation gap in the UK. (Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels)

Remote work is helping the UK’s labour force to achieve equality by supporting working women with:

  • More access to job opportunities
  • More flexibility to pursue successful professional careers while taking care of home duties
  • Less exposure to workplace harassment

When it comes to household obligations especially, many women not just in the UK but around the world ultimately stop working altogether because of the intense workload and pressure of having a career while being expected to perform unpaid domestic labour at home.

Remote and hybrid work now gives them a way to be the successful professionals they are while still taking care of home duties, and in an environment where they do not have to face harassment or judgment for having to leave work to care for family members.

These are just some of the ways remote work provides unique support to women, and only through its continuation will this continue to be the case.

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