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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Women prefer remote work at a higher rate than men, according to a new study by the jobs platform FlexJobs.

By the numbers: About 68% of women said their preferred post-pandemic workplace would be remote, compared with 57% of men. And 80% of women ranked remote work as a top job benefit, compared with 69% of men.

What's happening: Men and women identified with different perks of remote work.

  • 70% of women said not having to get dressed up for the office was a benefit, compared with 57% of men.
  • 60% of women enjoyed have more flexibility over their work schedules. And 48% of men said the same.

The big picture: While the pandemic has been tough on working women — particularly mothers — it has also started fresh workplace conversations about child care, a responsibility disproportionately taken on by women.

  • Firms across the country are adding new benefits to help working parents.
  • And a lot of mothers are starting to view telecommuting as a flexible way to make time for work and family after the pandemic is behind us.
  • "There’s just zero benefit in my mind now to return back into the office and give up all of those things that we gained over the past year," Angele Russell, a mom who works for a member of Congress, told the Washington Post.

But, but, but: If the return to the office is gendered, women could lose out on opportunities at work.

  • Most companies have held onto the in-person culture, and, even as hybrid work becomes more and more common, employees that stay home could fall out of sight and out of mind.
  • That could mean fewer promotions and salary increases for women if they disproportionately work remotely, and it could widen the gender wage gap.

Go deeper

Aug 20, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Twin Cities employers navigate return to office amid Delta's spread

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Companies that push too hard to bring employees back to the office are at risk of losing workers. But so are companies that move to an all-remote model.

Driving the news: Some of the Twin Cities’ biggest employers — Target, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo — have delayed their September return-to-office plans due to concerns about the Delta variant.

  • Meanwhile, others are still plotting to bring workers back Sept. 7.

The intrigue: How employers handle their return to office is a big factor in how they fare in the so-called “great resignation” that could result in 25% to 40% of employees nationwide quitting their jobs, according to surveys.

  • "I keep hearing from employers that they're sticking to their plan of coming back to the office. And my response to them is, 'Do you realize you're going lose about 10% to 15% of your people?' I don't know what the actual number is, but a certain segment of their employee base doesn’t want that," said Paul DeBettignies, a Twin Cities-based IT recruiter.

State of play: 51% of Minnesota companies are planning to hire for new jobs and another 48% are planning to fill vacant positions, according to a survey by human resources consulting firm Robert Half. In other words, almost every company is looking for workers.

  • "It's a situation where the employees — the talent — are holding a lot of cards that they haven't in prior years," said Kyle O’Keefe, Robert Half's senior regional director for Minnesota.

Between the lines: The 20-something workers are more likely to want to return to the office so they can be seen and advance their careers, DeBettignies said. The mid-career, established professionals are less interested in in-person work.

  • "I hear companies saying, particularly in the tech space, that we're going remote-only. They've got space but employees either don’t need to come in or they come in twice a month," he said. "I try to remind those folks they're probably going to lose 5% to 10% of their people. Because not everybody wants to work for a remote-only company."

The bottom line: Robert Half surveyed employees nationally in April and found that 34% currently working from home due to the pandemic would look for a new job if they were required to be in the office five days a week.

  • "The organizations that remain nimble and flexible will be able to retain, attract and engage their workforce," O'Keefe said. "I would hesitate on bringing some sort of one-size-fits-all approach."
Aug 19, 2021 - World

Biden: Taliban haven't changed since their ruling days

President Biden told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that he doesn't believe the Taliban have changed substantially since they were last in power, but that they are facing an "existential crisis" about whether they want to be recognized on the international stage.

Driving the news: The Taliban have pledged to be more inclusive since their days of totalitarian rule in the 1990s, vowing to not retaliate against opponents and honor women's rights within the "frameworks" of Islamic law. But scenes from Kabul and areas they previously controlled suggest the militants will continue to govern with a heavy hand.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

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