Men enjoy their jobs less than they do housework on average, research says

September 14, 2018 by Tony Trueman, British Sociological Association
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Men enjoy their jobs less than they do housework, and feeling rushed is one of the reasons, research says.

In 2015 over 4,000 people who were in employment were asked to rate every 10 minutes throughout the day how much they enjoyed their current activity, a British Sociological Association employment conference in Belfast heard today [Friday, 14 September 2018].

On a one to seven scale – 'not at all' to 'very much' – men gave their an average score of 4.4 and their 4.5, Dr. Pierre Walthery, of the Centre for Time Use Research at the University of Oxford said. Women rated paid work an average score of 4.5 and housework 4.4.

Both sexes rated activities such as socialising, caring for others, doing volunteer work and cultural events as more enjoyable than paid work, typically scoring around 6 out of 7.

For his research, Dr. Walthery analysed the data to compare people of the same age, education and and isolate the factors that varied enjoyment at work.

He told the 'Work, Employment and Society' event that:

  • Feeling rushed was the strongest negative factor linked to lower enjoyment at work,
  • Men who were satisfied with their income found work more enjoyable than those who did not, but satisfaction with income had no effect on women's job enjoyment.
  • Working unsocial hours was not linked to lower enjoyment at work.
  • Those who were satisfied with their and were self-employed were most likely to score work as more enjoyable.

The occupations most associated with high levels of enjoyment for women were skilled agricultural occupations, the leisure industry, and transport. For men it was the health profession, caring occupations, and culture, media and sports jobs.

4,086 people aged 16 and over in the UK who were in paid work took part in the Time Use Survey in 2015, run by NatCen on behalf of the Centre for Time Use Research. In total they recorded almost 111,000 observations about their level of , of which 25,000 were about paid work.

Explore further: Three research-based ways to maximize the fun of leisure activities

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