Men are returning to offices in US faster than women, new data show


The share of men who worked at least partly at home on an average day dropped to 28% in 2022 from about 35% the year before, results of an annual survey published Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. — Bloomberg

Men are giving up remote work and returning to offices in the US faster than women, according to new government data.

The share of men who worked at least partly at home on an average day dropped to 28% in 2022 from about 35% the year before, results of an annual survey published Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. For women, the share working at least partly at home fell only slightly, to 41% from 41.5%.

In total, 34% of Americans said they worked at least partly at home in 2022, down from 38% in 2021. But that was still well above the 24% who reported working at least partly at home in 2019.

Workers have seized the opportunity to work remotely since the pandemic and still favour having the option to do so, despite calls by some companies for a return to the workplace. In a meeting with Bloomberg News on June 22, Chris Hyams, chief executive of the hiring platform Indeed, said searches by job-seekers for positions that are remote or hybrid are at almost five times their pre-pandemic levels.

Nonetheless, some major companies have started requiring workers to spend more time in the office lately, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

The American Time Use Survey queries respondents on work, leisure activities, childcare and other uses of their time in an average day.

The results also showed those with more education are far more likely to work from home – with 54% of bachelor’s degree-holders reporting doing so, versus 18% of those with high school diplomas and no college.

One potential explanation for the gender disparity: Women continue to shoulder the burden of housework and childcare, according to the survey results.

On an average day, 47% of women reported doing housework, compared with 22% of men. At the same time, women living in households with children under the age of 6 spent 1.1 hours providing physical care, such as bathing or feeding a child, while men spent 31 minutes on those tasks. – Bloomberg

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