ALSO: data: does WFH mean more slacking off to do chores?
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.
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?
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.