ALSO: work is shifting from being like school to being like college / new podcast
Thanks for another insightful edition. One of the things I find frustratingly lacking in a lot of the conversations around remote work and WFH is the impact that the pandemic had at the start (in a positive way) on disabled people who were unable to work in the office, and how this rolling back of WFH provisions is bringing back some of the issues so many people were pushing against for so long.
I worked at the BBC (I went to one of your lunchtime talks!) and was almost entirely fully remote before the pandemic. I found it emotionally very challenging and although was really lucky with my team, I still felt like I was missing out. When everything suddenly went remote I felt, for the first time in years, like I wasn't alone. Like I could connect and be part of things.
I'd been forced into offices in previous roles I'd done (for work that could be entirely remote), eventually getting too unwell to work at all for periods of time. And I wonder whether we're going back to excluding people from the workforce who could work, even a little bit, if the benefits of this flexibility was recognised.
Of course, this is not the case for everybody, but there are so many people with health issues who could work if given more flexible options, people who are carers who need that extra time they'd otherwise spend commuting, etc.
I know of people who finally felt able to participate only to have that taken away from them in a push to "get back to normal", businesses that are offering lower salaries to those who want to work fully remote (I wonder if this is discrimination if that full remote is not a choice but a medical need?) and all sorts of other things that are making the job market inaccessible again.
I don't know the answers, but it's something I've been thinking a lot about recently.