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To avoid the spread of the Coronavirus, in Germany, there is currently a ban on contact, also all the people are prompted to stay as much as possible at home.

For many workers that is – if possible – a home office, so Working from home.

Before the pandemic, the sound for many of the tempting, more leisure and more time for the family. However, it becomes clear that the home office can also be a burden.

This is the impression the Report of the Union – affiliated economic and Social research Institute (WSI), which revealed last year that many workers – especially women – to go home and do more Overtime than the traditional workplace props up.

Flexible Work at the expense of the employees

The basis of the Reports, regular surveys of 30,000 people in the context of the Socio-economic panel are. For the study, we drew data from households in which at least one child lives.

The conclusion of the study author Yvonne Lott is sobering: “leisure time income with flexible working arrangements, neither for mothers nor for fathers. Flexible Working is rather to the detriment of the employees, and this is especially true for mothers.”

Mothers in the home office work more

Mothers who work at home or flexible care to an average of three hours per week more to the young than to fixed times in the workplace.

But not only that, they also work longer: Because you are trying to get many tasks under a hat, jumping out at the end of more hours than specified working hours.

For fathers, the opposite is the case: Although they, too, tend to make home-working more Overtime than in the office, but these will be put in the first line in your career, not in childcare.

In fact, fathers take care of in a home office less to their children than those who drive every day to work.

Back to the classic role distribution

Lott sees the cause for the imbalance in child care, home work in the classic role distribution:

“The traditional gender images in society, and often to prevail, to support the unequal distribution of care work in partnerships.”

Women would have about 20 hours of childcare a week, in men, there are less than ten. This was not the case everywhere, as the example of Sweden to show.

“Since gender arrangements are progressive, are connected to flexible Arrangements to the same extent with domestic activities for women and men.” The result: work is more evenly distributed, the women relieved.

Remedy Lott sees only in a consciously equitable distribution of the tasks. Gained free time should be exactly that, and not in the own career to be plugged in.

In addition, it stimulates a prolonged Parental leave to fathers to involve from the very beginning, stronger in the childcare.


  • Lott, Yvonne (2019): LESS WORK, MORE LEISURE time? What mothers and fathers flexible work arrangements, archived from the original on 08.04.2020: https://www.boeckler.de/pdf/p_wsi_report_47_2019.pdf

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*The contribution of “Work-Life Balance: employees in the home office and more Overtime” will be released by FitForFun. Contact with the executives here.