Why Work From Home Isn’t Necessarily Good for Women | Harvard Business Review

Workforce Trends

As workers continue to work-from-home (WFH) at scale, many have argued that this trend is helping to remove the stigma associated with WFH. According to this article, this new view of WFH can help “women hold on to full-time jobs and avoid losing traction in their careers during their caregiving years.” However, it also notes that there are three obstacles to overcome before the potential of WFH is realized, particularly for women. 1) Work/family conflict. WFH can increase the domestic burden on employees, mostly on women, according to a few reports. 2) Access to informal networks and critical assignments. WFH might widen inequality by reducing opportunities for face-to-face networking that lead to opportunities. 3) A new form of “presenteeism.” If women disproportionately WFH over men, this can create even more bias towards women – where an “out of sight out mind” mentality takes hold. The article provides seven tactics for overcoming these obstacles, including one that I especially like: Focus on output. “Unless companies learn to evaluate output, rewarding people for what they contribute rather than for the show they put on, a world of mostly remote work may increase organizations’ bias for rewarding those who are present, disproportionately harming women.”

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