According to a new survey carried out for the BBC, the majority of women believe homeworking would aid their career and allow them to juggle multiple duties.
New data released by the BBC shows that over half of women (56 per cent) thought that working from home could help their careers, with childcare and caring duties becoming less of a hindrance.
This view was even more popular among managers of which almost two in three (65 per cent) were of this opinion.
However, a sizeable amount of women – 25 per cent – felt that this method of working was unlikely to advance their careers, showing a clear divide between those who believe homeworking could prove useful and those who think otherwise.
When analysing this by demographic, young women aged between 18-24 (65 per cent) and women based in London (61 per cent) were most likely to believe in the career benefits of homeworking.
For some women, working from home has allowed them to take on a role again following maternity leave.
Previous research indicated that women were not returning to roles after having a child – with female employment rates jumping sharply down from about 90 per cent to 75 per cent after giving birth, and average weekly hours of work for those still in paid work falling from around 40 to less than 30.
However, for others, juggling home duties alongside work responsibilities was found to complicate the chance to progress in one’s career.
Many studies have warned of the risk of creating a two-tier system, overlooking those not physically in the office for promotions and opportunities for career advancement.
Claire McCartney, senior policy advisor at human resources body the CIPD, stated:
I think there are real benefits for women who often take on more childcare and caring responsibilities.
It’s important that those working from home and working flexibly are not disadvantaged because they are not in the physical workplace.
It needs to be normalised for all employees, regardless of gender.
This comes amid the Government’s plans to alter the right to request flexible working, allowing employees to put in a request from day one on a job. A spokesperson for the Government expressed this could “boost business productivity” and “help even more workers join the labour market”.
Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.