Women are burning out from 71 hours of home labor a week
Did you know that this article was written while serving kids breakfast and providing 50 pieces of packing tape and “ask to enter” signage for a blanket fort? Welcome to pandemic working. A new survey by LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey shows that women are doing gargantuan amounts of home labor during the pandemic—and suffering health consequences.
Women who work full-time and have a partner are logging 71.2 hours each week (10.1 hours per day) on housework and caregiving, while men in the same situation are spending 51.5 hours per week on those tasks. Single parents are logging even longer hours, with single mothers averaging seven more weekly hours on childcare, and 81% saying they spend more than three hours per day on housework (including grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning). A quick totaling of work, childcare, and housework hours indicates that many parents have lost all free time, and many are likely not getting enough sleep.
Yet most employers have not adjusted. Only half of people working from home say that their employers are allowing more flexibility, and less than one in five have had their scope reduced or priorities adjusted. Only two in five have had a manager even check in on their well-being. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and head of LeanIn.org, calls on employers to help by offering any flexibility and lowered workloads that they can.
Not surprisingly, a quarter of women have experienced severe anxiety, and a quarter say “they have more to do than they can possibly handle.” Because, well, they do. The survey was taken the week of April 13, sampling 3,117 adults.
The kids, by the way, are happily in the fort.