Remote Work in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond

The American Enterprise Institute has released a new report The Trade-Offs of Remote Work: Building a More Resilient Workplace for the Post-COVID-19 World which explores the ways in which the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has changed the traditional work culture in the US.  

The report begins with an assessment of trade-offs made in a remote work environment, both positive and negative from the perspective of employers and employees.  

In a discussion of a hybrid model, the report explains that “the benefits of remote work can be maximized and the challenges minimized if employers allow workers to self-sort into the work conditions in which they are most comfortable and there is a split between time working remotely and in the office.”

The report acknowledges a number of barriers that must be overcome to make remote work more widely available and equitable, concluding that policy makers must invest in research in this area, especially in light of the fact that remote work has an impact on not just individual companies but on the workforce and society writ large.  

The bottom line is that remote work is not a panacea for businesses or workers. It solves some problems and creates others and will likely require a great deal of trial and error to balance these trade-offs. The organizations that can best leverage these working models are those that experiment with what works and move toward programs that balance organizational and employee needs. 

 

More resources on related topics such as remote work and organizational resilience can be found at the HSDL including in the COVID-19 Special CollectionPlease note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.  

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