Looking after children and working from home (WFH) in the pandemic

Research from Nationwide Building Society and Ipsos MORI reveals that despite more pressure felt by those with children at home, 6 in 10 say remote working leads to better work-life balance.

The author(s)

  • Billie Ing Head of Trends
  • Stephanie Barrett Consultant, Trends & Futures
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Half of women working remotely with children at home during lockdown saw their mental health get worse because of COVID-19: new research from Nationwide Building Society and Ipsos MORI uncovers the impact the pandemic has had on working families.

The research shows that four-in-ten people (42%) with children at home feel that working remotely puts undue pressure on their wellbeing, compared with just over a quarter (27%) of those with no children in the household. Furthermore, just over a third (36%) of men working remotely with children at home reported their mental health getting worse due to COVID-19 but this increases to half (50%) among women in the same situation.

Despite the added pressures being felt, six in ten (62%) of those with children at home during lockdown say remote working allows them to achieve a better work-life balance. This is consistent with those without children at home (60%), suggesting that there is a general view that remote working is a way to a better work-life balance.

Jane Hanson, Chief People Officer at Nationwide Building Society, said:

Employers large and small, where possible, can use this time to reflect on how they work and what flexible working means for them and all their employees. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to reconsider how we make work-life more balanced by supporting everyone in a way that means they can bring their whole selves to work, each day.

Billie Ing, Head of trends at Ipsos MORI, said:

In line with insights gathered pre-pandemic, this new research shows the tension remote workers face between achieving a better work-life balance with the pressures felt from working from home.  It also shines a light on the additional pressure that remote-working parents have faced during the pandemic, and the greater impact on women with kids at home.

Technical note

Ipsos MORI interviewed 2208 people aged 16-75 online between Friday 8th - Tuesday 12th January 2021, and data have been weighted to the known profile of the UK population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.  For more information please contact Billie Ing.

 

The author(s)

  • Billie Ing Head of Trends
  • Stephanie Barrett Consultant, Trends & Futures

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