Published May 22, 2020 | Version v1
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When life revolves around the home: Work and sociability during the lockdown

  • 1. Sciences Po, OSC
  • 2. CNRS, Sciences Po, OSC
  • 3. CNRS, Sciences Po, OSC, MaxPo
  • 4. Sciences Po, CDSP


How disruptive is Covid-19 to everyday life? How is the French population experiencing the lockdown? Is it magnifying inequalities and affecting social cohesion? The CoCo project sheds lights on these pressing questions by comparing living conditions in France before, during, and after the lockdown. This is the third of a series of research briefs. We explore how French society has coped with the first 6 weeks of the lockdown, particularly as regards the transformation of working conditions and social life. We also continue to monitor self-reported health and well-being.
About a third of workers kept working at their workplace, another third shifted to remote work while the others stopped working altogether, becoming unemployed or taking leave. Women with at least a young child were more likely to stop working. Remote-work is concentrated in the middle-upper segment of the income distribution, while working outside the home remains the norm for the bottom-half of earners. Remote workers’ working conditions are better in comparison to workplace-workers. They are also the most interested in continuing to work remotely after the lockdown. The division of domestic work tends to be more egalitarian in households where the woman is working remotely.  The men find it difficult to spend time educating their children. Unprecedented levels of online social contact have compensated for a steep drop in sociability. Continued relations with relatives are the most prevalent while people who developed new relationships during confinement did so mostly with their neighbours.Contracting the virus has now more to do with employment conditions. People who kept going to the workplace were more likely to contract the virus. While happiness levels dropped at the beginning of the lockdown, they have regained and even surpassed pre-lockdown levels for most people.


Policy paper n° 3 - Project ''Coping with Covid-19. Social distancing, cohesion and inequality in 2020 France''. Funded by ANR (French National Research Agency), Call Flash Covid-19. Available in French Language.



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Report: 10.5281/zenodo.3839288 (DOI)