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Homeward Bound: the Work-Family Reset in Post-Covid America

Institute For Family Studies and Wheatley Institute Co-Sponsored Report

Despite all the chaos and struggles over the past year, the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic gave many parents the first-hand experience of working from home. And they like it.

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Indeed, the possibilities in workplace flexibility created during the coronavirus crisis may have begun a reset in the way parents think about what they want in their work and family lives—a reset that looks “homeward bound.” More than half of parents with children under age 18 said that COVID-19 has made them more likely to prefer working from home, either most of the time (33%) or half of the time (20%), according to a new Institute for Family Studies/Wheatley Institution survey by YouGov.

These feelings are shared by both mothers and fathers. Over half of fathers said the coronavirus pandemic has made them more likely to prefer working from home
(either full or part time), while only 38% said that the impact of COVID-19 made them more likely to want to work from the office. Similarly, only 30% of mothers said the pandemic made them more likely to prefer working from the office most of the time. A majority (53%) of mothers would prefer to work from home most or half of the time. This question was asked of parents who said that their ideal situation was to work. The rest of the parents (18% of moms and 8% of dads) said they simply prefer to not work for pay at all.