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Women, employers benefit from telecommuting: study

Women are more likely to resign or lose their jobs during a pandemic, new research shows, despite evidence that their presence generates better profits and a healthier work environment, study finds. just showed.

According to a Concordia University study published in the recent issue of the European Journal of Business Management Research, while companies acknowledge that employing women has a positive impact on business performance. their jobs, employers are not adapted to methods that focus on helping women get jobs.

Researchers looked at dozens of workplace reports and found that many suggested that women were more likely to leave their jobs during a pandemic than men, and at the same time also shows that the loss of women in the workforce has a negative effect on company culture, revenue and even global GDP growth. .

A 2021 RBC report cited in the Concordia study found that women are 12 times more likely to leave work to care for family members, including children or elderly parents.

Pandemic-related layoffs and the shift to automation in the workforce have also disproportionately affected women, as well as ethnic minorities, according to a Catalyst study cited by researchers. minorities, young workers and workers in the LGBTQ2S+ community.

And even when women decide to stay in their jobs while taking on most of their household chores, researchers say they often find their careers affected by having to shoulder additional responsibilities at home. House.

But these damages don’t just affect women in the workforce, the researchers said. A report by McKinsey research shows that global GDP will be $1 trillion less by 2030 if no action is taken to minimize job losses for women. The same report also suggests that giving women and minorities access to remote work technology, as well as implementing other equity measures such as education and family planning initiatives , which could add up to $13 trillion to global GDP.

Putting inclusivity first will mean companies must provide flexibility and equal opportunities to all employees, the researchers say.

“Given society’s expectations about the role of women and the additional work they have to do as caregivers of the home, telecommuting is beneficial in that women can avoid having to go to work, save time and can stay home if there is a family emergency, the researchers add, that employees who stay home will not be at a disadvantage compared to those who go into the office and have face-to-face time with their employers. their personnel.

The researchers also suggest that implementing flexible hours that allow workers to choose their own schedules would benefit women who take on most of the housework at home and benefit women employers by ensuring that employees work when they can be most productive and focused.

But while these steps may work for some employees, researchers say working remotely may not be best for all employees, including those on lower incomes who may not be able to work. There may not be enough space or quiet space at home for a dedicated workspace, or those who may have limited technology. Moving into the post-pandemic world, researchers say employers will need to adapt.

“Organizations that continue to understand their employees even after the pandemic … will be the ones that can provide women who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic back to work faster and therefore more open. expand their talent pool for future leadership positions,” the researchers said.

And while issues like workforce inequality and the transition to automation predated the pandemic and will continue into the future, researchers say the pandemic has progressed rapidly. and exacerbate the impact of these problems, and the measures taken to protect workers are not strong enough.

“If these measures are taken, it won’t be a short-term problem,” said Shirin Emadi-Mahabadi, one of the co-authors of the study. “In 5 or 10 years, whenever the next crisis hits, where will we be then?”

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