According to a recent report by the Joint Research Centre, women doing paid work from home are more likely than men to be caring for children or other family members during working hours. As a result, women do fewer hours of uninterrupted paid work than men.
Offering flexible working solutions could improve female employees’ work–life balance, but it could also result in offices becoming male dominated. A workplace with a significant gender imbalance can negatively impact the social dynamics of team interactions. It could also affect who gets what work and whose voice is ‘heard’ – employees who spend more time in the office could be treated more favourably by their managers than those working from home.
As more mixed working models emerge, businesses need to take proactive steps to manage this. Below we have prepared a few tips that employers can follow to build better gender balance at work.
Flexible working is for everyone
Let your employees know that flexible working is for everyone, regardless of gender, age or caring responsibilities. A clear policy on your company’s flexible working arrangements should help to reduce inequalities.
Senior employees can serve as an example
There is still a common misconception that work carried out in the office is more valuable than working from home. Let your employees see that even the most important roles can be undertaken flexibly and encourage your senior employees to work from home.
Gauge your employees’ preferences
Many companies survey their employees to accommodate individual preferences and circumstances. This is a good opportunity to monitor the gender balance of those who wish to come back to the office.
Train your managers
For many leaders, managing teams of people based in different locations is still something new and challenging. Make sure your managers have the necessary skills and tools to manage teams in a mixed model of working.
Keep communication channels open
Maintaining consistent communication with all employees, regardless of their location, is essential. Make sure that those who have chosen to work from home are treated as a core part of the team and are kept informed about all developments in the company.
It is still difficult to predict how the continuing COVID-19 pandemic will affect us in the future, so it is likely that your employees’ needs will change. Monitor these changes with periodic surveys and make sure your company’s policies are in line with its diversity and inclusion goals.
What is the best way to integrate new international hires into your organisation from a distance? We have a few practical tips to help you.
Find EURES Advisers
Living and working conditions in EURES countries
EURES Jobs Database
EURES services for employers
EURES Events Calendar
Upcoming Online Events
EURES on Facebook
EURES on Twitter
EURES on LinkedIn
- Publication date
- 25 February 2021
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Business / EntrepreneurshipHints and tipsLabour market news / mobility newsRecruiting trends
- Accomodation and food service activitiesActivities of extraterritorial organisations and bodiesActivities of households as employers, undifferentiated goods- and servicesAdministrative and support service activitiesAgriculture, forestry and fishingArts, entertainment and recreationConstructionEducationElectricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supplyFinancial and insurance activitiesHuman health and social work activitiesInformation and communicationManufacturingMining and quarryingOther service activitiesProfessional, scientific and technical activitiesPublic administration and defence; compulsory social securityReal estate activitiesTransportation and storageWater supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activitiesWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles