Equity Considerations for Remote Work

Learn about equity considerations for telecommuting and employee resources for those unable to work remotely.

This section of the Remote Work Policy Clearinghouse includes information about equity considerations for telecommuting, including studies showing disproportionate opportunities for telecommuting between different occupations and employee resources for those unable to work remotely.

Information considering equity implications of telecommuting

  • The Brookings Institution: The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Their mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national, and global level.
  • Becker Friedman Institute: For Economics at UChicago: The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics serves as a hub for cutting-edge analysis and research across the entire University of Chicago economics community.
    • White Paper: How Many Jobs Can Be Done at Home? (Jonathan I. Dingel and Brent Neiman, April 2020): A white paper that evaluates the economic impact of “social distancing” measures taken to arrest the spread of COVID-10, and raises the question of how many jobs can be performed at home? They classify the feasibility of working at home for all occupations and merge this classification with occupational employment counts. They found that 37% of jobs in the United States can be performed entirely at home, with significant variation across cities and industries. Applying occupational classifications to 85 other countries reveals that lower-income economies have a lower share of jobs that can be done at home.
  • Society of Human Resources Managers: The SHRM is a membership-based organization, and the foremost expert, convener, and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. SHRM creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together.
    • According to SHRM, it is important to “be mindful that telework policies that have a negative or disparate impact on legally protected groups, such as women or racial minorities, can increase exposure for HR managers to a discrimination claim.” From the SHRM resource on Practical Advice for Remote Work.

Employee Resources and Benefits for those unable to Telecommute

For employees that are unable to telecommute, employers can consider providing additional resources and benefits for those commuting to a job site.

  • 511.org: A web page with public transit resources for the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether for commute or personal trips, 511 provides a wide range of resources to help you on your way.
  • SF Environment Commuter Benefits: A web page for City of San Francisco Department of the Environment resources, providing sustainable transportation benefits for employees.
  • San Francisco Bicycle Coalition: Resources for bicycling in San Francisco, including maps and routes, bicycle law, urban bicycling resources, theft and locking, issues and improvements, bike parking, and bikes and transit.
    • COVID-19 Resources: Information and updates regarding current shelter in place orders, and San Francisco Bike Coalition updates and resources related to COVID19, and bicycling in San Francisco during sheltering.
  • Bike East Bay: Bike East Bay promotes healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, fun, and accessible. Their web page includes resources for bicycling in the East Bay.  
    • COVID-19 Resources: A letter from the Bike East Bay Executive Director, with information on sheltering in place orders, and bicycling in the East Bay during sheltering.
  • Silicon Valley Bike Coalition: Silicon Valley Bike Coalition creates a health community, environment, and economy through bicycling for people who love, work, or play in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.
  • Spare the Air Employer Program: Free resources for helping employees find a better way to work and supporting your commute program, with step-by-step guides, best practices, marketing materials, and more.

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Kelly Malinowski
Senior Environmental Planner, Planning and Climate Protection


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Last Updated: 7/30/2020