Perez, Kelvis Merino

Perez, Kelvis Merino
Start date:
September 2022
Research Topic:
Remote working: exploring regional variation and socio-economic inequalities,
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Melanie Jones, Cardiff Business School, Professor Alan Felstead , Cardiff University
Supervising school:
Cardiff Business School,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

This project is in collaboration with Welsh Government
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions to slow the spread of the virus have considerably accelerated the shift to work remotely. Prior to the pandemic, although remote work in the US showed, for instance, a steady rise, the percentage of the labor force under this category was still relatively small (Ozimek, 2019): However, in April 2020, the proportion of employees working remotely in this country reached about 50% (Brynjolfsson et al.,2020). During the first Covid-19-related lockdown in the UK, the share of remote workers rose dramatically to 43.1% in April 2020 (Felstead and Reuschke, 2020) compared with 4.7% reported in 2019. Similarly, across de European region, most countries reported an increase in the share of people working from home during the first weeks of April 2020 (over 30%), with peaks recorded by Finland (close to 60%), followed by Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark, with near to 50% (Eurofound, 2020). There is a widespread assumption that the already incremental trend of higher remote work is expected to follow the dramatic records relating to the Covid-19 pandemic (Ozimek,2020; Baert et al., 2020; Felstead,2022).
The implications of this rapid and critical shift in working arrangements have increasingly become the focus of attention by academics and policymakers. Preliminary evidence suggests positive benefits of increased homeworking practices from a social, economic, and environmental perspective. The barriers and concerns regarding the increased remote working beyond COVID-19, have also been widely identified. However, more research is required to explore the scope and complexity of this change, specifically, whether it will be concentrated in certain geographic regions, among specific sectors, and/or occupational groups. Identifying inequalities likely to emerge in the labor market due to this rapid change would require further attention and analysis. Addressing these questions, also relevant to The Remote Working‘s Welsh Government strategy, will be the central purpose of this research project.
In light of the discussion above, this research project aims to investigate, based on up-to-date data, how the location of work is evolving, in a changing context marked by a growing use of remote working practices.
Particularly, the study will focus on exploring regional variations and socioeconomic disparities of this trend, including among societal groups expected to be adversely affected (e.g., parents, informal carers, and disabled people). Thus, this research project will contribute to the current research agenda about remote work with a contextualized analysis, informing discussions regarding the potential of flexible working arrangements, among which working remotely, to reduce workforce market inequalities (see, Hoque and Bacon, 2021).