Men Vs. Women: Who Works/Plays Harder?

You hear a lot of griping these days that women have to work harder and longer than men both at home and at the office, but is this actually true? And is the burgeoning trend to work from home having any effect on this? Not according to the American Time Use Survey, recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This survey says that American traditions still stand strong -- men log more hours at the office, while women bear a heavier yoke at home. Here are some highlights that seem to prove the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same:

Search Job Openings

In Partnership With

Who works more?

The employed American worker averages 7.5 hours on the job per day, with men working 56 minutes more than their female counterparts. This difference partially reflects the fact that more women than men work part time. However, even among full-time workers (those usually working 35 hours or more per week), men work longer than women -- 8.3 hours compared with 7.5 hours.

Who works more from home?

On the days that they work, 24 percent of employed people do some or all of their work at home, and 84 percent do some or all of their work at their workplace. Men and women were about equally likely to do some or all of their work at home.

How do men compare to women when it comes to housework?

On an average day, 20 percent of men do housework -- such as cleaning or doing laundry -- compared with 51 percent of women. Forty percent of men do food preparation or cleanup, compared with 68 percent of women.

Who spends more time at leisure?

On an average day, nearly everyone age 15 and older engages in some sort of leisure activity, such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising. Of those who engage in leisure activities, men spend more time in these activities (5.8 hours) than do women (5.1 hours).

Who's more physically active?

Men are more likely than women to participate in sports, exercise, or recreation on any given day -- 21 percent compared with 16 percent of women. On the days that they participate, men also spend more time in these activities than do women, 2 hours compared with 1.4 hours.

Who spends more time taking care of the kids?

On an average day, among adults living in households with children under 6, women spend 1.1 hours providing physical care (such as bathing or feeding a child) to household children; by contrast, men spend 0.5 hour providing physical care.

Men also spend more time than women sleeping, eating and drinking, caring for the lawn and/or garden and watching television. Women spend more time shopping, caring for non-household members, and in religious and spiritual activities, which is not surprising, but also attending class and doing homework and research. When it comes to volunteer activities, men and women are virtually tied.

Next: New Solution for Unemployment -- Marriage?! >>

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell


Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Search Jobs

In Partnership With

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

July 20 - July 27

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.


Check out our new Map Search

Locate your next job using the new AOL Jobs Map Search!

Pin down your next great opportunity today.