In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, international organizations around the globe have been advocating for the implementation of a range of social and employment policies or dedicating resources to research development. ILO engaged with us to develop a Practical Guide on Teleworking and contribute to its broader work in developing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards. Founded in 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialised agency of the UN.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever before are teleworking—that is, using information and communications technology to perform work away from the office. In fact, due to the uncertainty of the situation, many workers are now being required to telework, and while telework is typically used for limited periods (e.g., one or two days per week), many workers are being required to telework from their homes full-time to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In any case, given the health risks, all of those workers who perform work tasks and activities that are compatible with teleworking arrangements should be eligible to telework during this crisis, including those in temporary employment and interns.
Teleworking is not suitable for all circumstances or all types of positions. Nonetheless, if telework is practised correctly, it can be an important component of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The key is to ensure that teleworking is practised in ways that make it as effective as possible under the unique circumstances of this pandemic.
This collaboration aimed to prepare the ILO Practical Guide on Teleworking during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This Guide is a “how-to” manual for with actionable recommendations for policymakers and enterprises regarding how to make teleworking as effective as possible under the unique circumstances of this pandemic.
In the writing of the Guide, we conducted a literature review of newly published studies and survey results of employers extending or introducing teleworking options to employees, researched case examples of policy making globally, conducted interviews (phone) and formulated practice and policy recommendations.
The Guide includes practical and actionable recommendations to support policymakers in updating existing policies; a flexible framework through which companies and other organizations can develop or update their teleworking policies and practices; examples of how employers and policymakers are handling telework during the COVID-19 pandemic; lessons learned during the pandemic that are relevant for the future of teleworking arrangements; and a list of available resources.
You can download the Guide from the official website of the ILO.