The importance of remote work, also known as telecommuting, is evident during the current COVID-19 crisis. During a period of confinement and physical distancing, telecommuting has enabled some workers to carry out their usual tasks from home.
But remote work can also be a source of socioeconomic inequality for workers in many different ways. These are related to the job sector and employers, as well as to the loss of the benefits associated with remote work.
The possibility of working remotely isn’t available to everyone, with one Canadian study estimating that only 44 per cent of jobs are compatible with telecommuting. Remote work is particularly common among university graduates, managers and professionals, but its practice also depends on the sector and the nature of the job. Finance, for example, compared to manufacturing, is more suitable to remote work. Consequently, many workers are deprived of an alternative that allows them to continue working during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.