“The year 2020 has brought unprecedented changes to the global economy and the world of work. On the 11th of March, the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the novel coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic, and urged governments around the world to take matters seriously and prepare for the first wave of the public health emergency with several drastic measures, one of which was the nationwide lockdowns in many countries (WHO, 2020a). As the lockdowns or stayat-home measures entered into force, a large proportion of the workforce was instructed to stay home and continue to work remotely – if their functions make it possible. Organizations that were previously familiar with teleworking, as well as organizations that haven’t experimented with teleworking before, were sending their employees home, creating the conditions for the most extensive mass teleworking experiment in history.
Though the number of people teleworking part-time or on a full-time basis has been gradually increasing over the years (Eurostat, 2018), the pandemic has certainly fast-tracked the adoption of teleworking modalities by employers. In a scenario such as the COVID-19 pandemic, teleworking has proven itself an important aspect of ensuring business continuity, whereas under normal circumstances its benefits include reduced commuting time, increased opportunity for workers to focus on their work tasks away from the distractions of the office, as well as an opportunity for better work-life balance. Teleworking offers the opportunity for a more flexible schedule for workers and the freedom to work from an alternative location, away from the premise of the employer. There may also be risks, such as isolation (particularly for individuals living alone), and the loss of contact with fellow employees, which it is essential to anticipate and prevent.”