This spotlight is part of a series of short-insight reports produced over the course of COVID-19, which share the unheard voices of working people to complement statistical stories.
The shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to sweeping shifts in how and where we work, with many claiming these changes might last. To understand the experiences of the mass-homeworking experiment, and interrogate the default position that remote work is the ‘future of work’, we conducted a series of interviews during lockdown, revisiting some interviewees in August 2020.
We find that the risks and benefits of remote work, which is accelerating fast, fall asymmetrically across the country and between demographic groups. Mitigating the risks associated with remote work is needed; higher levels of consultation will help with this. We also find that remote work may catalyse transformation of the wider landscape in positive ways, and has the potential to change geographies of access to work.
The spotlight reports aim to reflect how the pandemic has presented systemic issues, reframed the conversation about work, and shaped new demands as the Government looks to lift restrictions, boost recovery and build resilience for the future.