White Papers / 27 Jun 2024 3 min

White paper: Flexible Working

A deep dive into the impact of remote working on gender equity

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The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that ensued have drastically shifted the way we work. In a climate of increasing return-to-office mandates, about two out of five employees are currently working from home at least some of the time, in the UK. This is a marked increase from the pre-pandemic levels of 5% of employees mainly working from home, and another 12% of employees working from home some of the time. 

This white paper examines:  

  • The access and use of remote working practices 
  • The impact of remote work on women’s employment outcomes, including impact on career outcomes 
  • The impact of remote working practices on division of housework and childcare 
  • Key myths and misconceptions of remote working, namely its impact on employees’ productivity, commitment, motivation, company cohesion and culture building 
  • Practical recommendations for business and HR leaders to ensure that companies are best able to utilise remote working practices to enhance gender equality within the company whilst simultaneously meeting company performance goals. 

The report looks at the evidence for and against remote and flexible working, providing a balanced picture to enable organisations to make informed decisions in their flexible working practices.  

About the authors

Professor Heejung Chung

Professor Heejung Chung (she/her) is a labour market and welfare state researcher and Professor of Work and Employment, at King’s Business School and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, King’s College London, UK. She has been conducting labour market research for over two decades, focusing largely on topics around labour market gender inequalities, flexibility at work, home/remote working, work-life balance, division of unpaid work/care, and other work family topics. She has a keen interest in exploring the role welfare state policies, cultural norms, and other contexts play therein to find policy solutions in tackling issues in the labour market. She has worked with a wide range of national governments (including the UK, Italy, Korea, Germany, Estonia) and international organisations (including the European Commission, UN, ILO, OECD). Her most recent works include the book The Flexibility Paradox: why flexible working leads to (self-) exploitation, (Policy Press), and the report Flexible working arrangements and gender equality in Europe (European Commission).

Sharon Peake CPsychol

Sharon Peake is a gender equity expert, a Chartered Psychologist and coach, and the Founder and CEO of Shape Talent. Her research has identified the most significant barriers to women’s career progression and this, combined with her significant corporate experience, has informed the development of the methodology underpinning Shape Talent’s evidence-based solutions: the Three Barriers Model®. Shape Talent’s women’s acceleration programmes have benefited over 800 women, in over 40 countries and across six continents. Sharon is a keynote speaker and has been cited in the Guardian, Metro, Forbes.com, Psychologies magazine, People Management, UNLEASH, Business Leader, Business Reporter
and more.

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