Just because working remotely is technologically possible doesn't mean it's perfect for us all. For the ones with children, it puts caretaking right in the center of work life balance and this was never a challenge till Covid 19. Juggling online school and working parents without help is a problem no one was ready for, but it's surely making an impact.
Global work culture typically still uses time as a core metric for performance evaluation and compensation. Professional services careers like finance, consulting, and law compensate their workers per hour more than regular professions. If one asks for flexible work arrangements to manage children’s responsibility, its guaranteed to impact their professional standing or compensation over near and long term. Studies have also shown doing so affects performance reviews and they are less likely to be promoted.
This is also creating a new divide In our digitally connected world of teleconferencing, mobile phones and cloud based products for knowledge workers who can continue at home and low-wage workers who increasingly are subject to similar expectations of responsiveness, even though they have less job security and little flexibility compared to higher paid employees. Ironically, store managers, delivery drivers, and warehouse workers are now seen as frontline workers risking exposure to the virus in public with little support for the families they leave to go to work.
This is a time when a number of people would want to re-evaluate what it means for them post crisis. Would there be a review of the systems related to our work in terms of Work life balance at all. If the employers and governments do not plan for this, then its the individuals who would have to rethink what their new work life balance would need to be designed to be. There is always a choice and it will show in many forms in the near future.