Today we’re excited to announce the launch of the ThirdShift Quiz, a free tool to help you understand your housework – how much you’re working, what you’re doing, and what your work is worth. You may be surprised to learn just how much work you do each week, and the value of this work. You can take the quiz by clicking here. It takes about 3 minutes to complete, and provides you an overview of your share of household work, what it’s worth in economic terms, and where you spend most of your time. This post gives an overview of some of how it works to help you understand your results. And how you can use them to help create a fairer distribution of work in your home.
How It Works
Household Characteristics & Goals
The quiz starts by collecting some basic household information. This is used to determine what your workload looks like, and the resources you have available to manage that work. Factors that will influence workload include the number of people in your household and responsibilities that you have – such as children and pets. If you have help from outside your household – such as a cleaner or childcare help – you will be asked about this later.
It’s also important to understand your goals for distributing this work. Equality here can be a difficult concept, because the question often asked is what “equal” means. This is particularly the case for some two-adult households where there is a ‘divide and conquer’ approach. One partner might earn an income, and the other partner might take the lead on the home front by managing the household work, including childcare.
The challenge with this approach from an equality perspective, is that in a household with small children, the workload in childcare alone will frequently far outstrip paid work. This means that stay at home parents frequently have extremely high workloads. Therefore, when we look at goal setting, we use hours of work in order to compare workloads. Certainly paid work can differ, and one partner may work much longer hours than the other. Therefore, we show a like for like comparison by comparing total hours of work between you and your partner (or other adult in your household) – taking into account both paid and unpaid work.
Categories of Housework
The quiz asks about the distribution of work in your household using standard categories of unpaid work. Each of these categories gives a brief description of types of work included to help you give an accurate answer. Take time to read these descriptions so that you understand the scale of the category, and how best to answer the question of who is doing the work. The image below shows an example.
Included in the housework quiz are 9 possible categories of work (though you may see fewer if, for example, you do not have children, or pets). Part of the purpose is to help you to think about all the types of work needed in most households – some of which you may not think about as being work.
The quiz also asks about work preferences. This is also about understanding if household work is approached equally. In every household, there will be types of work that each person just really doesn’t like doing. But if there are types of work that you and your partner both dislike, and one of you has to do them all, then that is fundamentally not equal. In a future release we will be providing optimisation recommendations for how to improve your quality of life by optimising household work based on your and your partner’s preferences. More on this to come.
Economic Value of Unpaid Work
One of the important metrics you get out of the quiz is a calculation of the economic replacement cost of the work you do. This is particularly important for unpaid carers and stay at home parents, if you feel that your contribution to your household isn’t equivalent to your partner because it isn’t financial. Currently this is available in GBP if you‘re in the UK, and USD otherwise. More currencies will be available in future.
The economic replacement cost is what you would need to pay someone else to do each type of work in your country. Currently only UK and US are available, but more are coming soon. You can understand these values either as the money you’re saving by doing this work yourself, or as what if would cost you to pay someone else to do this work instead. Either way, the purpose of this economic value is to help people to understand and value this work in terms that fit with how we value paid work as a contribution to a household. This is work that needs to happen for the health and happiness of the people in your house, so whoever is doing that work should be recognised, respected and valued for the contribution they’re making. Understanding replacement cost is a starting point.
The skills we use in household work is another way we can recognise and value unpaid work. Your results will show the professional skills you’re using in the work that you do. These skills are frequently transferrable to a paid work environment. Gaining experience and using these skills may help you navigate other areas of life.
How To Use The ThirdShift Housework Quiz
To get the most of the ThirdShift Housework Quiz, follow these three simple steps:
- Take the Quiz and enter your email address at the end to save your results. This means you can come back and review them later.
- Ask your partner (or invite your friends( to take the Quiz and enter an email address so you can compare your results.
- Have a conversation about the results each of you got, and why there might be differences. The Categories of Work results page will be particularly helpful for both of you to compare. Discuss where you think each of you spend your time, and why your results might be different. If it helps, after you’ve each done it individually, you can try filling it out together. Discuss for each category of work what you both think the actual division of work is like currently. See how this compares with your individual results, and if it’s a fair split.
If in doubt about your results – you can take the quiz again. Make different selections to see how your results compare!
What’s next from ThirdShift? Yes, the Housework Quiz is only the start! We’re developing an app that will help you to manage, value and fairly distribute your household work. You can sign up for the ThirdShift app now – which is in development but will be available very soon. Register today and we’ll notify you when the app is ready so you can be one of the first to start achieving equality at home.
- In 2021, women don’t believe they’re entitled to equality
- How outsourcing housework has been proven to create more gender equality at home
- Worried that inviting your partner to take the quiz will start a fight? Read this first.
- Launch News: New Multi-Player Housework Preference Quiz
- Startup News: Scrap the App, The future is multi-player
Ready to start creating equality in your home?
Knowledge is power – the first step to solving the problem is understanding it. Take the ThirdShift Quiz to start understanding what your work is worth.