Parents want to work from home for good. But for moms, the effects could be dire.
Connecting the Dots – #YesThisIsAnArtsStory Repost from The Lily
Caroline Kitchener | 22 April 2021
The hour between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. used to be Chan Téi DuRant’s least favorite hour of the day.
Within minutes of leaving her D.C. office, she would be in bumper-to-bumper traffic, inching along the interstate as she stared at the clock, picturing her 9-year-old daughter alone on the playground with the only teacher who hadn’t gone home for the day. By the time she arrived at her daughter’s school, 25 miles away, DuRant, a single mom, was frustrated and exhausted. She would already be dreading the frenzied sequence of tasks that awaited them: homework, dinner, shower, lay out tomorrow’s clothes, brush teeth, bed.
Then, wake up and repeat.
When her office started working remotely last March, DuRant said, she immediately noticed changes in her body: Her shoulders softened and she started sleeping more deeply. She had time to dance around the living room with her daughter on a Tuesday and work out six days a week.
DuRant, who works in government communications, has been eagerly awaiting an announcement from her employer: Once everyone in her office has been vaccinated, she wants to know if she will be expected to return.
Only seven percent of Americans worked remotely before the pandemic. As of January, over half of all American workers were logging in to their jobs from home. Disproportionately White and affluent, members of the remote labor force have settled into their new routines, investing in home printers and office chairs, using their commute time to do something for themselves: extra sleep, a workout routine, a walk around the block. As more Americans get vaccinated, employers are reevaluating their policies, asking themselves: If our employees are just as productive at home — and we can save money on office space — why not allow them to choose where they work?