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Women prefer working remotely, even if it means turning down a dream job

Carried out among 2,000 British adults, the survey reveals that women are more likely than men to turn down a job if it involves going to the office every day

Published: Aug 9, 2023 12:15:05 PM IST
Updated: Aug 9, 2023 12:21:59 PM IST

Women prefer working remotely, even if it means turning down a dream jobA recent survey reinforces the idea that women are more committed to remote work than their male colleagues. Image: Shutterstock

A recent survey reinforces the idea that women are more committed to remote working than their male colleagues. In fact, only 59% of them would accept a full-time, in-person job, compared to 66% of the men surveyed.

Would you accept a job that involved going into the office five days a week, without any option of working from home? Just a few years ago, it's a question that likely wouldn't have even been asked, but which has become a genuine issue since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. But feelings about remote work vary significantly according to several criteria and factors associated with each worker. One key factor appears to be gender, recent survey conducted by Censuswide for UK office rental agency Space32 suggests.

Carried out among 2,000 British adults, the survey reveals that women are more likely than men to turn down a job if it involves going to the office every day. And this also applies even if it's the ideal job: according to the survey, only 59% of the women questioned said they would be prepared to go to the office five days a week, even for their dream job, compared with 67% of the men. At the same time, 60% of men surveyed said they would be prepared to increase the number of days they spend in the office to help their career progress, while this was the case for only 50% of women.

However, you might be surprised to learn that young people (of all genders) are more willing to give up hybrid work if they land their dream job: 78% of respondents aged 25-34 said they would be prepared to go to the office five days a week for such a position.

Also read: Return to Office: Will women continue to pay a price for flexibility?

Increased mental load and lack of advancement

Space32's survey is far from the first to note that women are more inclined to favor remote work than men. In a YouGov survey published in 2022 and carried out among 4,000 Americans, 43% of the men questioned considered it "acceptable" to come into the office every day, compared with just 28% of women. The survey also suggests that women attach greater importance to flexible working hours than men: 57% versus 44%.

While these two surveys don't really explore the reasons why women prefer remote and hybrid work, other studies have documented the motivating factors of such a model, regardless of gender: better time management, reduced stress, increased productivity, optimized use of time... But for women, these work habits can come with both positive and negative effects. Last February, France's Haut Conseil à l'Egalité (High Council for Equality) warned that remote work could increase inequalities between men and women. The HCE report points out that, during the country's first period of Covid-19-related lockdown, more than a third of women who worked from home for six hours or more devoted at least two hours to domestic tasks, compared with an average of one in five men. Although the rise of remote work during the early days of the pandemic highlighted this fact, such awareness did little to reduce the mental burden on women.

Another recent study (this time from the USA) highlights another kind of problem. The research suggests that regular remote work may slow down women's career advancement (as well as that of young people), insofar as it may delay the acquisition of professional skills necessary for promotion.