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Rebalancing gender inequity and the digital divide: unintended consequences of working from home

Bolade-Ogunfodun, Y. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8143-6946, Soga, L. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5471-9673 and Nasr, R. (2022) Rebalancing gender inequity and the digital divide: unintended consequences of working from home. In: Ogunyemi, A. O. and Onaga, A. (eds.) Responsible Management of Work Value Shifts Post Pandemic. Emerald Publishing. (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

Working-from-home (WFH) models represent one of several types of flexible work practices gaining ground in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of particular interest is the increase in the use of digital technology platforms for work collaboration and communication. These have been largely well received in terms of their potential to mitigate disruptions to business activity and employee work life in the absence of in-person work contexts. Research indicates that the sales and adoption of many digital platforms have witnessed sharp increase since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. These have contributed to creating seamless organisational collaborations, shared access to electronic data and new organisational processes to mirror previous in-person work arrangements. Many organisational members have had to upskill at rapid rates to catch up with these developments. Despite the benefits to employees, managers, and organisations in terms of facilitating continued remote work, we illuminate the hidden inequities within this work model and highlight the unintended consequences from the standpoint of gender, race and the digital divide. We identify key aspects of WFH that represent underlying factors which create conditions for inequities and illustrate these with a case study. Additionally, we analyse the role of technology as a platform for WFH, noting impacts on employee wellbeing, team dynamics, as well as manager-employee relations. We conclude by raising implications for managers, offering recommendations to rebalance the inequities identified, such as developing an inclusive organisational culture, creating systems to access and evaluate employee feedback as well as developing appropriate response mechanisms that support particularly vulnerable groups.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:103326
Uncontrolled Keywords:Flexible work; Gender inequity; Digital divide; Teamwork dynamics; Manager-employee relations
Publisher:Emerald Publishing

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