One of those things is working from home. If done right, it can be an opportunity, especially for women. Yes. “Hybrid work and the home office can democratize work, but also consolidate the opposite,” explains Sabine Ehm. “Managers should be careful not to use the wrong criteria when evaluating performance.” Ehm is researching modern work at Locatee, which measures office occupancy.
Locatee asked pollster Yougov to conduct a representative home office survey of more than 2,000 people in Germany who normally work in an office. The SZ has the results in advance. In the future, 21% of men, but only 16% of women, will have complete freedom to decide when and where to work. 25 percent of women, but only 17 percent of men, will once again have to work continuously from their desks. There are several reasons for the gap, explains Ehm: On the one hand, women more often have jobs that are difficult or impossible to do from home, such as team assistants. On the other hand, they more often feel that they are not free in their decision-making because it would be a disadvantage for them to stay at home. “Women are afraid of not being as visible in the home office and of having a disadvantage compared to male colleagues who go to the office,” explains Ehm. “And it cannot be ignored from the outset that the corporate culture is often such that managers reward attendance rather than actual results.”
At the start of the pandemic, when many offices were completely closed and everyone was working from home, it was the other way around – after all, no one was more visible than the other, suddenly performance mattered more. It was a very stressful time, especially for women, as they often had to take care of unpaid family chores, such as teaching math to children when schools were closed. But overall, with functioning schools and daycares, many women surveyed see working from home as an advantage for themselves – mainly because they save a lot of time by not traveling (72%) and that they can use it. Used to working from home and not wanting to change their routine (57 percent). “Men tend to assume that the old world of work will come back,” Ehm says. “They want the old structures, where they belong and where everything is regulated.”