Flexible working conditions lead to increased total hours on the job according to a study by the Hans Böckler Foundation Institute of Economic and Social Research.
The study was the biggest of its kind in Germany and is based on a survey of 30,000 fathers and mothers working in flexible conditions from 2003 to 2016. “Flexibility” in this context means working from home with some control over working hours.
According to the study, when working from home or with flexible arrangements, men work on average four more hours per week, while women work at least one hour more.
Women who work from home also spend three hours more per week caring for their children. For men, how much time they spent with their children depends on whether they work at the office or at home.
The results show that the home-work balance may be easier with flexible working conditions, but these arrangements appear to consolidate traditional gender roles, according to the study.
The issue of a work-home balance has become a flagship issue for Germany’s Social Democratic Party. as Labour Minister Hubertus Heil is pushing for “the right to work from home”.