How a Rise in Remote Work May Impact Post-Pandemic Life

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

  

Reevaluating Work in Post-Pandemic Life

Unemployment claims dropped again Thursday, and this week may also bring a clearer picture of what’s happening with the job market. As more Americans get vaccinated, workers and companies are figuring out what post-pandemic work life will look like — and how it may change permanently. Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions below. To read the transcript of the video above, click here.

  • Many companies thought working from home would lower productivity, but often the opposite was true — employees were able to get more work done in their own homes. Employers were also able to hire workers from a wider geographical area to work remotely.
  • Many employees also preferred working from home and the flexibility to balance work and home responsibilities, including picking up children from school in the middle of the day.
  • There are disadvantages and inequities, however. For instance, working from home is available more to higher-paid, white collar employees. Some without access to reliable internet, such as those in rural areas, were excluded. And employees also missed some of the collaborative and social aspects of office work or had difficulty drawing a clear line between work and personal time when working remotely.

 

 

Discussion Questions

  • Who was interviewed in this piece and what are their backgrounds?
  • Why did some business executives change their minds about remote work?
  • What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of remote work according to those interviewed here?
  • How does remote work offer advantages to some and disadvantages to others?
  • When and Where did workers start working remotely, and what workers were excluded from remote work?

Focus Questions

  1. Would you prefer to work from home more, or do you prefer being at an office/school? What do you think is the right balance, and why? 
  2. Who do you think is most disadvantaged or left behind if more people and businesses shift to remote workplaces?

Media Literacy: Who else would you want to hear from about how the pandemic changed the way people work that wasn’t featured in this segment?

Dig Deeper

 

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.

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