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Remote work holds more appeal for women, Indeed finds

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Women with a job are about 25% more likely than employed men to say remote work is a reason for starting a new job search, according to a March 27 report from Indeed’s Hiring Lab.

In surveys conducted between July 2021 and December 2023, nearly 15% of women listed a desire for remote work as a motivator during the job hunt, while about 12% of men said the same.

“The stark gender differences revealed by our survey are in line with both speculation and evidence that remote work is even more appealing to parents, particularly mothers,” Nick Bunker, economic research director for North America at the Indeed Hiring Lab, wrote in the report. “The rise of remote work seems to have reduced some of the hit to employment experienced by many mothers.”

Women preferred remote work more highly across all age groups. The largest difference occurred among the 25-34 age group, where women were about 34% more likely than men to cite remote work as a reason for their job search.

In contrast, the smallest difference occurred among the 35-44 age group, which contains many young parents, including both men and women, Bunker wrote.

“More-similar preferences among workers of these ages could be a sign that more fathers in this age range also value the flexibility provided by remote work,” he wrote.

When recruiting, companies can consider the core needs of working women, according to Great Place to Work research. About half of women surveyed said they were open to finding a new job, particularly with employers that offer fair pay and promotion, create a healthy work culture, help employees find meaning at work and prioritize flexibility with remote and hybrid options.

Without manager training, though, women who work remotely may be overlooked, according to a Perceptyx report from 2021. At the time of the survey, women who worked from home at least part time were 27% less likely to have received a promotion in the previous year, and “each time women miss a chance for promotion, the funnel narrows,” the report authors wrote.

Remote work also may pose a problem for HR teams. Among companies conducting HR functions remotely, some HR pros reported challenges with recruiting, hiring and onboarding, according to a November report from MindEdge Learning and the HR Certification Institute. “The new American workplace is still a work in progress, so stay tuned,” a MindEdge executive said in a statement.

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