At the onset of Covid in 2020, many people were forced to work remotely. This was a unique global experiment for leaders across industries and sectors to address fears and biases surrounding remote work. Would working away from an office environment actually reduce productivity? This mass transition to remote work, with strict lockdowns and social scarcity, was far from the recommended approach to remote. From sharing flats to parenting and educating children while working remotely, it proved challenging and inequitable for many.
Women were nearly 2x more likely to lose their jobs. The culprits: caregiving responsibilities and the gender pay gap.
When faced with an impossible juggle, who is most likely to sacrifice career?
Working women were and are more likely to take greater caregiving responsibilities, they are also more likely to get paid less than their male counterparts. So when faced with an impossible juggle, who is most likely to sacrifice career? In addition, people were feeling increasingly isolated and burnout. Still, through it all, high levels of productivity remained. Remote was a "success." Six to twelve months into the pandemic, "hybrid" was hot and happening. A growing number companies the likes of Twitter, Salesforce, Spotify introduced "Work from Anywhere." In Spring 2021, employees started to go back to work. And just as soon as they came back, they started to leave.
Every day men and women leave because they want more flexibility in inflexible jobs – the more senior the role, the less flexible it is. With the exception perhaps of startups where fractional leadership is desirable as a business builds its footing. Today, over 43% of women and 35% of men suffer from burn out (source: McKinsey & Company). The desire for flexibility goes beyond remote, hybrid, and the need to look after children. Employees are reflecting on why they work how they work. The value of diversifying one's income proved to be an advantage during the pandemic in midst of job losses. This portfolio mindset is here to stick.
The value of diversifying one's income proved to be an advantage during the pandemic in midst of job losses.
The number of professionals working in career portfolios, one or more part-time jobs, is set to be 50% by 2030 per the OECD (likely to accelerate as a result of Covid). Employees are also more in tune with their personal goals and aspirations around wellbeing and personal growth. The World Economic Forum, in their latest white paper on economic transformation, recognize new ways of hiring like sharing and stand alone solutions like roleshare.com as a way to increase employment, wellbeing and productivity at work. As such, alternatives to full-time whether remote or hybrid, are on the rise and companies are starting to adapt.
In this interview Ian Dinwiddy, founder of Inspiring Dads, he speaks to the gender neutrality of other ways of working like term time and sharing, as a way for men who seek to reduce hours or work part time in senior roles as well.