I think the chores thing gets more interesting when you remember that the M-F 9-5 workweek in an office for knowledge workers was designed for and by people with domestic support (whether through marriage or pay). I’m a single person household. So if on a WFH day I’m using my breaks between meetings or focus periods in tackling laundry mountain or batch cooking lunches for the week, I see that as a way of removing those chores from the evenings of the rest of the week. So I can stay at the office later, knowing I have something in the fridge ready for dinner, or go to a networking event, or on a work trip to another city, knowing the flat won’t be a disaster zone when I get back.

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I suppose you've talked of your own biography before but I'm surprised you didn't mention how your own education and accent added friction to your own career.

As a fellow state school educated West Midlander this article struck a chord with me. I've diluted my accent significantly. It's partly a side effect of having to move away from the Black Country to find career success and partly a deliberate, if subconscious, attempt to change how I am perceived at work. I even spell ‘mum’ with a U now instead of an O.

It will be interesting to see what KPMG put in place to support the careers of their working class background employees. I don’t think it’s just regional accents. Often the behaviours and styles that determine career success, as opposed to job performance, are trained and ingrained in people from a very young age. This is partly thanks to better schooling and partly thanks to having parents with white collar backgrounds. I've always had a sense of not having being provided ‘the guidebook’ to navigate my career whilst working alongside people who were read it as babies.

I guess the answer may be to put in place social structures to support these staff - mentorships and support groups. Training on personal presentation and behaviours might need to start at a more basic level. Even then will signifiers like accent (and how your suit is cut, and what watch you wear) still prevent people from making the progress they deserve?

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The gaming percentage is surprising for in-office workers. How do people do it? Hide in the bathroom to play games?

It's interesting that we still measure productivity as we were in a factory, where you have to stay 8 hours in the production line.

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