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Remote work helped in saving jobs during COVID 19: ILO Report

Published: 12th Jan, 2023

Context

A report titled ‘Working Time and Work-Life Balance around the World’ has been recently released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

  • This first-ever ILO global report on working time focuses on the actual number of hours of work, working-time arrangements and their implications for work-life balance.

Highlights of the report:

Nature of work during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Flexible working hours.
  • Short-time workand work-sharing measures.
  • Increased working hoursin the healthcare or pharmaceutical industries.
  • Teleworkingcontributed to the pandemic response by reducing social contact.
  • Great resignation phenomenon: It is an on-going economic trend (beginning in early 2021) in which employees (most likely in hospitality, healthcare, and education sectors) have voluntarily resigned from their jobs in mass, in the wake of the pandemic.
    • The most cited reasons are work-life imbalances, wage stagnation amid the rising cost of living, limited opportunities for career advancement, hostile work environments, etc.

Impact: Inclusive short-time work schemes with the highest possible allowances:-

  • Enabled individuals as well as companies, enterprises and industries to collectively reduce the hours or volume of work.
  • Sustained purchasing power and created the possibility of cushioning the effects of economic crises.
  • Laid the ground for a better and healthier work-life balance.
  • Teleworking helped in maintaining organisational operations and preserving jobs.

Suggestions by the ILO:

  • ILO member countries need toprescribe policies necessary to remedy the weaknesses of working-time instruments that became apparent during the pandemic.
  • Large-scale implementation of teleworknearly everywhere in the world to change the nature of employment in the near future.

Conclusion:

  • The ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon has placed work-life balance at the forefront of social and labour market issuesin the post-pandemic world.
  • There is a substantial amount of evidence that work-life balance policies provide significant benefits to enterprises, and such policies are a ‘win-win’for both employers and employees.

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