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The gender divide in remote work


The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many of us work. During the lockdowns, working from home became the norm. However, as the world returns to normal, a new trend has emerged: the rise of the ‘WFH husband.’ This term refers to the increasing number of men working from home while their wives return to the office.

Gendered divide in work-from-home trends

As workers return to their offices, a clear gender divide has become apparent. In many households, men are more likely to continue working from home, while women return to their workplaces. This divide is largely influenced by the types of jobs typically held by men and women.

The role of job sectors

The disparity in work-from-home opportunities is tied to job sectors dominated by women. According to the Office for National Statistics, one in five women in the UK works in health and social care. Additionally, a quarter of women are employed in retail and education. These sectors make remote work difficult or nearly impossible.

Professor Heejung Chung, a sociologist at the University of Kent, elaborated on this trend. She explained that healthcare, primary and secondary education, and retail are very female-centric fields where remote work is not feasible. Conversely, many male-dominated jobs allow for remote work.

Housework and home dynamics

Interestingly, Professor Chung notes that Mr. Slay’s involvement in housework goes against a broader trend. Many men working from home do not take on additional housework, despite being in the house all day. This highlights a unique aspect of the Evans-Slay household’s ‘WFH husband’ dynamic.

Conclusion

The rise of the ‘WFH husband’ reflects broader changes in work dynamics and gender roles. While some households find balance in this new arrangement, it also underscores the persistent gender divide in job sectors and household responsibilities. As the world adapts post-pandemic, these trends offer a glimpse into the evolving nature of work and family life.