Bad News – Working From Home Comes With Unexpected Costs

( — Since the beginning of the pandemic, working remotely has become much more common. Polling by the Pew Research Center suggests that up to 22 million employed adults work from home all the time in the U.S., which accounts for approximately 14% of all employed adults. Even more people work from home some of the time, and the numbers are expected to continue to trend upward, with one in five Americans working remotely by 2025.

Some have expressed concerns that unexpected costs may disproportionally affect women in the workforce. Women who work full-time have been observed to still perform more housework and childcare than their male counterparts. Anecdotally, this has only increased when women work from home. The extra convenience of being able to get chores done between Zoom meetings and having increased flexibility for family obligations may come at the cost of less leisure time and fewer work opportunities for those who work from home.

Newsweek’s Alexa Kimball, CEO and President of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Massachusetts and a professor at Harvard Medical School, has some advice for remote workers about how to make sure that they are not out of sight and therefore out of mind. She points out that remote workers are more likely to be laid off when cutbacks start, as well as less likely to be promoted. Kimball recommends making time for face-to-face opportunities, including in-person mentorship, hybrid remote work, or just scheduling conversations with your boss to make sure that your work from home situation is working for them as well.

Kimball comments that working remotely often means missing out on getting to know your co-workers, not being in position for exciting opportunities for growth, and not being on hand when casual conversation veers into insider advice, tips and career guidance. These warnings may be something for people to keep in mind as the popularity of remote work continues to grow. While some workplaces have returned to in-person work, job seekers are still clamoring for remote or hybrid careers. Younger workers, like Millennials and Gen Z, are particularly interested in hybrid models. Hybrid remote work could be a way to mitigate the downsides of fully remote work by fostering in-person working relationships.

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