Addressing employers’ and employees’ challenges.
With all its dramatic impact, the COVID-19 crisis was also an eye-opener. It has shown that workers with suitable jobs can efficiently work remotely, with no negative implications for their productivity or performance.
Telework is certainly not good for everyone and many consider the amount of telework performed during the pandemic excessive. Often, however, what holds back workers and employers from increasing the amount of teleworked hours is not their preferences. Rather, telework is held back by frictions in the organisation of work that can be tackled, such as those that prevented teleworkers from being fully involved in their company’s workflow, or from being assessed on an equal footing with on-site workers.
Those frictions help explain pre-pandemic low levels of remote work. But the pandemic has done nothing to remove them; it has just prevented them from kicking-in by forcing anyone who could to work remotely. Without a structural change in the organisation of work, the lessons learned from the pandemic will likely fade soon.
Thus, employers and employees are now being called to craft new working systems that incorporate what learned during the pandemic. European trade unions and business federations have just started a dialogue around what to do about a 20-year-old EU Telework Framework.
The aim of this event is to contribute to that important discussion by providing concrete insights on the challenges of hybrid work.
Chair: Laura Nurski, Research fellow
Principal consultant, Organisation Effectiveness Cambridge
Director-General, European Commission, DG EMPL
Member of the European Parliament
Policymakers should act to deal with labour-market concentration trends that potentially harm workers, especially gig workers and the self-employed.
Laura Nurski, Sabine Theresia Köszegi and Giuseppe Porcaro explore the relationship between artificial intelligence and job transformation and ask whether the impact differs by gender.
The digital transition should be managed – and taxed – alongside other societal transitions, but any tax on companies that replace employees with automated systems should be targeted and carefully designed to not stifle innovation.
The pandemic has shown workers and employers that another way to work is possible. The European Union should develop a framework to facilitate hybrid work.
More remote working in the wake of the pandemic could exacerbate wage inequality, with young workers, women and the low educated potentially losing out.
Bruegel Annual Meetings, Day 2 - This panel will cover the changes the COVID-19 pandemic made to our workplaces, and what to expect in the near future.
What will be the impact of automation on the economy? Bruegel's own Giuseppe Porcaro discusses with Aaron Benanav, Laura Nurski, and Alexis Moraitis.
European countries must do more to tackle the vaccine uptake gap. Vaccination data should be published at the maximum granularity level so researchers and local decision-makers can monitor progress.
Post-pandemic hybrid work models should be carefully planned, taking into account individual and organisational needs.
Employers and artificial intelligence developers should ensure new technologies work for workers by making them trustworthy, easy to use and valuable in day-to-day work.
What challenges and opportunities does technology bring to the labour market?
The pandemic has shown that many workers can efficiently work remotely, with benefits for wellbeing and even productivity. The European Union should develop a framework to facilitate hybrid work.