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Zooming into better work-life balance? Gender and equity insights from New Zealanders’ experiences with working from home

Employee mental health Employee welfare Home-based work Career development Gender equity Women economic conditions New Zealand

This report assesses the potential implications of the increasing trend towards working from home on wellbeing and career progression, particularly regarding the impact on women.

Key findings:

  • Both men and women had an overall positive experience of working from home during lockdowns, agreeing that achieving a better work/life balance, avoiding long commutes and overall cost-effectiveness are major benefits of working from home. This is in line with research showing that reduced commuting can significantly benefit workers, particularly those who work in major urban centres.
  • Women are most likely to report that they did most or all of the childcare and homeschooling during COVID-19 lockdowns, confirming many published studies.
  • Women were significantly less likely than men to report having the ideal equipment and a space designed for working effectively and comfortably from home, which impacted on their experience of working from home during COVID-19 restrictions and their view of this as a motivator for not working from home.
  • When choosing where to work, men are more likely than women to be motivated by the need to be seen in the workplace or the need to be seen as adaptable. In contrast, women were more likely than men to say professional and social connections motivated them to be physically present and work-life balance motivated working from home, demonstrating that the concept of ideal worker culture may be stronger in men than in women.



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