Darja Reuschke is Associate Professor in Human Geography at the University of Southampton. Her research focuses on homeworking, home-based businesses and self-employment. She is currently leading a project on social, economic, technological and urban aspects of homeworking of the self-employed and business owners funded by the European Research Council (Horizon 2020). She is also leading a Covid-19 research project that investigates the impact of the pandemic on the self-employed in the UK funded by UK Research and Innovation and the Economic and Social Research Council with a special focus on inclusivity and spatial disparities.
This presentation speaks to the growing strand of research on homeworking and its economic consequences. It focuses on the multiple inequalities of homeworking: occupational, social, demographic and housing-related, how these have changed during the pandemic with possible consequences for the future of work and employment.
New research will be presented that addresses the question of whether those who worked at home prior to the pandemic were more protected from job loss and cuts in earnings and hours worked during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic than those who did not work at home. Using longitudinal data for the United Kingdom on around 7,500 workers for January/February and again in April, May and June 2020 when mitigation measures were in place, the empirical findings challenge the view that homeworking protected workers from economic disruptions and that the more work from home, the better.