Coronavirus could spark a revolution in working from home: Are we ready?

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceProfessional


Imagine your employer asking you to work from home until further notice.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, this seems an increasingly likely scenario. “Everyone who can work from home should work from home,” said Harvard epidemiologist William Hanage this week.

In China and neighbouring countries, millions are doing so for the first time.

In the United States, companies readying staff to work remotely include Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and JP Morgan.

This week, NASA’s Ames Research Center in California joined them and declared a mandatory telework policy after an employee tested positive to COVID-19. NASA sites across the country have been testing their work-from-home capabilities.

In Dublin last week, Google sent 8,000 workers home for a day to trial an extended remote-work scenario after one employee came down with flu-like symptoms.

In Australia, Clayton Utz, Cisco and Vodafone temporarily closed offices last week as a precautionary measure.

The likelihood of extended workplace shutdowns seems increasingly likely. So what do we know about the pros and cons of working from home?
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020


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