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Remote Work Creating More Interruptions for Women Than Men, UConn Research Finds

  • Women are facing more work-related and personal interruptions, according to research from a UConn professional
  • The report offers insights for businesses who are delaying office return plans or shifting to more permanent remote or hybrid arrangements
  • Frequent interruptions are associated with poorer employee performance and the increased likelihood of burnout

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Women have been facing more interruptions from both work-related and personal responsibilities, according to recent research by University of Connecticut management professor Nora Madjar.

Madjar, along with professors Sophie Leroy of the University of Washington and Aaron Schmidt of the University of Minnesota, published their findings in the Journal of Applied Psychology. They say the study highlights a challenge facing women in the workforce as companies delay their return-to-office plans and transition to more permanent remote or hybrid work, since more frequent interruptions can increase the odds of poorer employee performance and burnout.

The study looked at 249 employees across multiple industries who were working from home, The average participant was 37 years old, worked full-time, lived with a spouse or partner, had children or other dependents in the home, and had a bachelor’s degree.

Women reported more frequent interruptions due to child care and household responsibilities, and were also more likely to report interruptions from co-workers and supervisors.

The study’s authors said businesses can take steps such as encouraging employees to establish a dedicated work space in the home, sending e-mails rather than making phone calls when possible, and scheduling project updates instead of sending frequent questions to workers.

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