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

See all articles by Phil Lord

Phil Lord

Lakehead University - Bora Laskin Faculty of Law; McGill University - Faculty of Law; York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

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

Lord, Phil, The Social Perils and Promise of Remote Work (2020). (2020) 4:S Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy 63, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3613235 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3613235

Phil Lord (Contact Author)

Lakehead University - Bora Laskin Faculty of Law ( email )

955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.lakeheadu.ca/users/L/plord/node/66558

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal, QC H3A 1W9
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.mylawyer.ca

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
Canada

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