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Women disadvantaged by working from home – report

Working from home has turned out to make gender inequities worse, according to new research.

Tuesday, March 8th 2022, 9:37AM

by Eric Frykberg

Many brokerages, banks and finance companies have encouraged people to work from home whenever possible, as Covid-19 numbers soar.

But research done by the ASB and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research has found the unequal sharing of household responsibilities means the experience is different, and often more challenging, for women.

The research shows even prior to Covid-19, many organisations were shifting towards remote working in some cases and a hybrid blend of working from home and in the office, but this was accelerated by the pandemic.

The findings show 20% of New Zealanders can now work from home as often as they like, and nearly half of respondents said the ability to work from home was important, very important or essential to them.

A figure of 61% of respondents found working from home a positive or very positive experience.

And employers found there was no loss of productivity, in contrast to what had been feared.

But it was not all good news, with women being significantly more likely to report doing most or all of the childcare and home-schooling during lockdowns.

“Covid has created a challenge for families, with parents required to homeschool their children during lockdowns on top of their normal work life, which is an unrealistic expectation,” the report said.

“We can see from the research that this is a responsibility women tend to pick up more, with 56% saying they do most or all of the home schooling.

“Only 22% of respondents felt the home-schooling load was shared fairly.”

The report added there was unlikely to be any change to this pattern in the near term.

“With women still taking on responsibility for the bulk of domestic chores, the risk is that they are being disadvantaged both at work and in the home, trying to juggle two roles.”

There were other problems with working from home. Less than half of respondents said they had all the equipment they needed or enough space to do their work to work.

For employers, there was a need to support their people with the right kit.

Finally, the report showed that remote working might be killing the concept of a sick day off work.   It found one in five respondents found it harder to justify taking the day off when they were already at home.

Again, this was more common with women.

Tags: women

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 5.35 4.49 5.25 5.55
ANZ 5.54 5.15 5.85 6.15
ANZ Blueprint to Build 2.78 - - -
ANZ Special - 4.55 5.25 5.55
ASB Bank 5.35 4.49 5.25 5.55
Avanti Finance 5.45 - - -
Basecorp Finance 6.45 - - -
Bluestone 5.29 7.49 7.59 -
BNZ - Classic - 4.55 5.25 5.45
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.55 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 5.55 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 5.55 5.35 5.94 5.99
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.55 - - -
CFML Loans ▲6.45 - - -
China Construction Bank 5.50 5.40 6.14 6.40
China Construction Bank Special - 4.45 5.19 5.45
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 4.70 5.20 -
Heartland Bank - Online 4.00 3.85 4.70 4.84
Heretaunga Building Society 5.95 4.80 5.50 -
HSBC Premier 5.49 4.39 5.15 5.39
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.25 ▲4.29 ▲5.09 ▲5.35
Kainga Ora ▲5.43 ▲4.57 ▲5.58 ▲5.85
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - 2.25 - -
Kiwibank 5.00 5.55 6.19 6.39
Kiwibank - Offset 5.00 - - -
Kiwibank Special 5.00 4.55 5.19 5.39
Liberty 4.84 - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.95 4.95 5.85 -
Pepper Essential 3.44 - - -
Resimac 4.59 5.60 6.16 6.29
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank 5.29 4.69 5.35 5.49
SBS Bank Special - 4.19 4.85 4.99
Select Home Loans 4.09 4.29 4.86 5.09
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - ▲4.19 - -
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.45 ▲4.29 5.19 5.45
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.45 ▲4.79 5.69 5.95
TSB Bank 5.59 ▼5.14 6.05 6.15
TSB Special 4.79 ▼4.34 5.25 5.35
Unity 5.65 ▲4.80 ▲5.50 -
Wairarapa Building Society 5.24 4.55 5.20 -
Westpac 5.54 5.09 5.79 6.09
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Westpac - Offset 5.54 - - -
Westpac Special - 4.49 5.19 5.49
Median 5.45 4.55 5.25 5.52

Last updated: 16 May 2022 9:03am

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