As the nation marks the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, many women are taking stock of workplace changes they want to keep now that the pandemic is receding —and those they are happy to leave behind.
Nearly two-thirds of women (65.4%) want to continue to work at least some days remotely. Meanwhile, 43% of working womenneverwant to return to the office, according to 3,200 respondents to a national survey conducted by the Conferences for Women.
In contrast, only 3.3 percent said they would choose to work in the office full-time.
“This new survey suggests that most women who are balancing work and family need remote work to remain an option for them,” said Laurie Dalton White, Executive Director of the Conferences for Women.
A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that while men have largely recouped the job losses caused by the pandemic, women have not. More than 1 million fewer women were in the labor force in January 2022 compared to January 2020.
A lack of affordable child care has widely been recognized as one reason for this.
Businesses can get up to $150,000 in tax credits annually for offering their employees access to childcare. But a new report from the Government Accountability Office finds that few companies are using it.
Several other reasons have also been suggested to explain why workers are reluctant to return to the office. Among them:
- An unwelcoming culture. This was a key factor cited in a report out from the New York Times last week. In a survey of more than 700 people, one woman cited not wanting to return to the “old boys’ club.” And some people of color wrote about colleagues who would not stop asking them how to work the copy machine.
- A growing desire to prioritize personal life. This is a trend Ron Hetrick, an economist at the data analytics firm Emsi Burning Glass has described as a transition from “work-life balance” to “life-work balance.”
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