A survey carried out by the UNI Equal Opportunities shines a light on the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on work life balance around the world. With almost 5,000 participants answering (which was available in 7 different languages, including Chinese and Finnish), the survey gives a snapshot of how the pandemic has changed workers’ lives.
Seventy per cent of respondents answered that they had been working from home during the pandemic, and 33 per cent added that their spouse/partner was also working from home. Half of all respondents noted that they had to increase their knowledge of digital skills in order to adjust to these new working conditions.
This shift towards working from home led 69 per cent of participants to say that their household chores workload had increased during the pandemic, and 13 per cent said that they faced double their normal household workload.
The closure of schools and childcare systems also implied a significant increase in childcare workload. Of the 45 per cent with children, 35 per cent of participants said they had had to organize additional childcare options and one–in–three took on additional duties to help them with schoolwork.
However, as domestic workloads increased, some workers also faced an impact on their personal income, with a significant portion of respondents suffering from some degree of loss in wages.
With all these changes one thing remains constant—as the world moves towards a “new normal,” unions have an important role to play in ensuring that workers’ rights are protected in a challenging, changing labour market.