Women feel more guilty about going away on business trips than men do, new research shows.
Traditional gender roles combined with ideas about motherhood and being a house wife, trigger guilt pangs in women who are away because of work.
The study found that whilst men use the nights away as a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of family life, women miss their loved ones and are prepared to drive for miles to avoid an overnight stay.
The Swedish researcher that conducted the study told the Daily Mail: “Deeply-rooted perceptions of gender roles are very much at work.
“Women are still expected to prioritise their homes and children and conventional overnight work travel is not compatible with this norm,” she said.
The results of the study showed a clear gender divide and suggest that many professional women would prefer to use video conferencing facilities instead of time consuming business trips, to eliminate the need to travel and offer more flexible working arrangements. Such flexibility in the workplace is said by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to increase staff morale and boost performance.
Gunilla Bergstrom Casinowksy, of Gothenberg University, asked thousands of men and women about their experience of business trips.
She said of the research, which was carried out for her PhD thesis: “The female travellers described their emotional experiences of overnight travel in terms of loneliness, feelings of guilt for not being available for the children and worries about how everyday life at home wen on while away.”
“The male travellers’ experiences were less negative. Instead of loneliness and guilt, they described their feelings in terms of boredom and longing for their partner and children,” she said.
Interestingly, both the men and women questioned said that business travel was one reason women accepted more responsibility at home, regardless of whether it is the man or woman that travels.
Miss Bergstrom Casinowksy added: “The conclusions support current discussions on why women in general travel much less on business compared to men, highlighting the different roles men and women have in running the home and family.”