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For working mothers, the advantages of working from home are numerous. Most often we think of how footloose and fancy-free it must be to be one of the few who are allowed to telecommute and work from home. Think of how much easier life would be if you could work AND watch the Disney channel all day, every day with your children – especially when they are sick, for instance. But, according to a recent study, men are working from home more than women.
The survey, conducted by Flex+Strategy Group, found that 36 percent of men work remotely (from home or Starbucks or some place not considered their place of employment) compared to only 23 percent of women. A poll conducted by Harris Interactive, a year before the Flex+Strategy survey found somewhat of a smaller difference – 37 percent vs 31 percent. While the differences may not seem significant, they are an indication that maybe our perception of the telecommuter is not only off but outright incorrect.
Two reasons men are working remotely more often than women might be:
- Women may not request to work from home for fear of being the hardcore mommy of the company.
- Women are more likely to be employed in non-managerial positions and positions that do not provide the flexibility of working from home such as secretarial, nursing, and teaching.
So while it’s nice that companies continue to increase telework options and acknowledge the benefits of work-from-home positions, it will be even nicer when the opportunities are available to everyone. As women, we may also need to become more assertive at requesting to work from home and going after the positions that allow it.
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