The Social Perils and Promise of Remote Work
(2020) 4:S Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy 63
5 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020 Last revised: 28 Nov 2020
Date Written: 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed daily life, notably by forcing billions of people to work from home. As restrictions related to the pandemic are eased, companies are reconsidering their real estate footprint and contemplating a long-term move to remote work. This paper takes an in-depth look at this move. It argues that remote work is, like other consequences and aspects of the pandemic, deeply rooted in broader social issues. The move to remote work has the potential to alleviate historic inequities which arise from the demands of the modern workplace – demands which have led women to occupy lower-paying positions. It also argues that the move to remote work can contribute to the increasing precarity of work, by shifting the cost of workspace from employers to employees. It suggests governmental solutions, rooted in law and behavioural economics, which could maximise its potential and protect workers from its perils.
Keywords: COVID-19, remote work, precarious work, labor law
JEL Classification: J81, J88, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation