Working from home during & after the pandemic with Alison Pennington
This episode considers the opportunities and risks of working from home during this time of COVID-19. What are the pros and cons? How does it impact productivity and wellbeing? Will it become the new normal?
Working from Home: Opportunities and Risks is a new briefing paper from Alison Pennington and Jim Stanford from the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute. Economics Explained host Gene Tunny interviews Alison regarding the paper in this episode.
Alison Pennington is Senior Economist with the Centre for Future Work. Her research focus is on work in Australia today, and in the future. She received a Master of Political Economy from the University of Sydney. Her research focus was on the Australian finance system, housing and inequality. Her twitter handle is @ak_pennington.
Use these (approximate) timestamps to jump right to the highlights:
- 5:40 – productivity impacts discussion
- 8:30 – how social isolation can impair cognitive ability
- 12:00 – discussion of the view expressed in the paper that “working from home will likely become more common in coming years. For millions of workers, indeed, it will become the ‘new normal.’”
- 16:30 – how workplaces can adapt – an end to hot-desking, a return to pods, and staggered start times
- 28:05 – discussion of employee surveillance by employers – 70% of employees subject to at least one type of digital surveillance and there is a risk this can extend into people’s homes if working from home becomes the new normal
- 32:20 – reference to how the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has tried to make working from home easier (check out the ATO page Working from home during COVID-19)