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Are you left to the ‘office housework’?

There are many jobs that need completing in the workplace, from cleaning up after a board meeting to making the teas or coffees for the weekly meeting.

Dubbed ‘office housework’ by Harvard Business Review, it seems these less than glamorous tasks are often being left to the women and people of colour in the office.

Office housework can be anything from administrative work such as taking notes or organising a meeting time, or it can be important work that is often undervalued, such as keeping on top of contracts or initiating new processes.

Meanwhile, the ‘glamour jobs’, the work that gives employees the chance to showcase their skills, are being given to other members of the team.

In a study carried out by Harvard Business Review of the Society of Women Engineers, the company found that women were 29 per cent more likely than white men to report doing more office housework than their colleagues.

Harvard also noticed some similar disparities when it comes to different races. For example, when the firm surveyed a nationwide sample of lawyers, women of colour were the most likely to report doing more administrative tasks than their colleagues — over 20 per cent more likely than white men.

Additionally, white women were 18 per cent more likely to report doing more admin tasks than white men.

This research was carried out in the US, but we at PA Life want to find out if you are being left to the office housework in your role. Please let us know your thoughts via Twitter @PALifeMag or send me an email on