Remote Work Causes a Migratory Wave

Technology has been a great ally during the pandemic, enabling people to continue working from home.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía

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Since many enterprises have implemented remote work as a solution to keep their business going, the usual work scenarios have been rethought and new working ways have been established.

Traditionally, migration has been caused by a population who looks for better working opportunities, even during specific times of the year such as summer work. Nowadays, conflict, violence, and political instability have been the recent causes of migration. Also, the appearance of COVID-19 has incremented migration waves.

The current pandemic impulsed the implementation of remote work, and as a consequence, it caused the acceleration of a technological transformation with the use of new digital tools, which are essential for this new panorama of virtual work. The big change can be summarized in that work is now determined by what is done and is not dependent on where it is done.

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With the emergence of virtual work, the working population became aware that they could accomplish their working goals from almost any location. According to an analysis from the Economist Report, between 14 to 23 million North Americans will move to more affordable cities within their country and continue to work from their new cities. As stated by a report from the UN, the transformation that has taken place during the pandemic will make a remarkable history in terms of migration, comparable to the Great Depression ore ven the Second World War.

The Economist Report, surveyed 20,000 people in the United States, finding that between 6.9% and 11.5% of households have plans for moving due to the current possibility of working remotely. Out of this group, 6.5% have plans for moving because of the opportunity they have of working from home, and an additional 2.5% of people are moving since one of their family members has the opportunity of working remote, and an additional 2.5% are moving due to the chance to search for jobs that can be done from home.

In Latin America, the migration movement was quite different. During the initial months of the pandemic, a significant number of Latin Americans moved back to their country of origin even when they were already settled in another country. Also, people have continued to migrate to large cities in search of new working opportunities. According to ECLAC, 67% of the Latin American population has internet access, however, the percentage of jobs that can be done from home is relatively low at 20%. Hence, there is still an important part that has to be played by the governments to promote technological development to ensure that more people can work from home. The private and public sectors must work together to achieve the technological transformation that the pandemic has been leading us to implement.

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