Can teleworking help increase birth rates in Europe? Experts Believe It – 2/18/2021 – Worldwide

Career or family? The question arises for many Europeans and most end up betting on the former, especially those who work full time, reveals a study by Coimbra Business School (Portugal) and the University of Malaga (Spain).

The same survey – with a sample of over 19,000 workers from 34 European countries, including Portugal – also shows that those who only work part-time are more willing to expand their families. For this reason, Carla Henriques believes, working remotely can help increase birth rates.

“Teleworking allows you to manage your schedule. For example, today I can spend all day with my son and catch up with him tomorrow or on weekends, ”illustrated the author of the study to the newspaper Público, adding that teleworking, which has increased due to pandemic, can still have the positive aspect “Paradigm shift” and open the door to greater flexibility.

“The change in working conditions that the pandemic has brought about can have two beneficial consequences: increasing the number of children each family decides to have; and increase the productivity of each employee, allowing them to save immense hours on the road, reduce stress and have greater job satisfaction.

The conclusion is drawn from the study “Achieving a balance in the determinants of life satisfaction of European full-time and part-time workers”, published in the Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, which assesses the well-being of full-time and part-time workers. time workers.

Produced in partnership with researchers Oscar Marcenaro Gutierrez and Luis Lopez-Agudo of Malaga, the Coimbra professor reveals that part-time workers were more willing to expand their families.

Now, with the spread of teleworking, not only “productivity can increase per employee”, but “the number of children that each family decides to have” should increase “, predict the authors, in the hope that there will have greater reconciliation between work and family life, as well as in relation to social life.

More weight for women

According to data collected before the pandemic, working full-time in the in-person model discouraged families from having more than one child.

“Before the pandemic, professionals reported that it was very difficult to create harmony between work and personal life after arriving home exhausted by the pace and stress of the face-to-face routine and home-work travel, ”explains Carla Henriques, adding that the option of not having children or having only one has been taken so that the person can progress in his career.

The number of children per woman of childbearing age in Portugal is 1.41 and the European average is 2.1. These values ​​do not allow the renewal of generations, warns the researcher, listing some of the problems resulting from this decision – such as the aging of populations, the weight in the national health service, as well as in social security.

“This is a situation that should be of concern to politicians,” he said. “It is up to states to protect workers and to have supportive measures”, he adds. These can include policies to encourage births, such as promoting more flexible hours or increasing support for parents, he illustrates.

Companies should also take a stand, especially because they have already understood that remote working is here to stay.

The study was based on four analytical criteria: satisfaction with education, current job, family and social life; and found that it is women who are more available to ‘sacrifice their careers’ for the benefit of the family – that is, the study’ shows the sexism that exists in family life, with women sacrificing more their career ”, observes the researcher.

Carla Henriques is attentive to the figures which show that women work more at home than men, acknowledging that there is a macho culture still present in Portuguese society. However, “we are already beginning to notice that there is a change in mentality” and disciplines such as citizenship education can help new generations to consider home work as a sharing between the couple.

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