How Working From Home During the Pandemic Impacted Gender Roles in Household Duties

Since the onset of the pandemic, many men and women are conducting more and more work at home. A new study found that among dual-earning couples, both men and women completed more family-related tasks when working from home. However, when wives worked from home, husbands performed less housework. This was not the case for wives when their husbands worked from home.

Researchers at Ohio State University conducted two studies on workers to determine how work-from-home status affects both members in dual-earning couples. The study participants filled out two surveys reporting their work-from-home status and the amount of work and family tasks they completed every day for 14 consecutive work days.

Lead author Jasmine Hu, a professor of management in the College of Business at Ohio State University, told CTV News that “when female employees work remotely — either by choice or by necessity — due to the pandemic, their gender stereotypes are more easily activated, increasing the pressure to consider their families’ needs and intensifying their family responsibilities. We think it mirrors the traditional gendered expectation such that women versus men are more considerate of their spouses’ and families’ needs when they work from home.”

Professor Hu joined the faculty at Ohio State University in 2018 after teaching at the University of Notre Dame. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, China. Dr. Hu earned a master’s degree in organizational behavior from Renmin University of China and a Ph.D. in business administration and organizational behavior from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The full study, “Double Challenges: How Working From Home Affects Dual-Earner Couples’ Work-Family Experiences,” was published on the website of the journal Personnel Psychology: The Study of People at Work. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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