The permanent switch to more home working following the pandemic will cause rising gender inequality in the workplace, according to experts, unless employers carefully monitor their new working policies to make sure women and disabled workers aren’t disadvantaged.
The switch to working from home necessitated by coronavirus lockdowns has, 18 months on, resulted in a permanent change in workplace culture.
Earlier in the pandemic, there were hopes that the wider adoption of remote working might remove the gender divide, while also reducing the so-called “maternity penalty” and getting rid of a culture of presenteeism.
Yet, many employment experts are warning that the hybrid working model favoured by most large organisations, allowing staff to split their time between home and their desks, could have unintended consequences for gender equality.
Leaving the choice of workplace entirely in the hands of staff likely will mean those with caring responsibilities or with disabilities will tend to stay at home and other employees will likely go into the office. There is a fear that those at home will look like they’re less committed to their job, they won’t have as a good a relationship with their manager or feel part of a wider team or have the same opportunities.
We would like to explore how this switch to hybrid working has affected you and hear of any concerns that you have about this.