How COVID-19 May Impact The Future Of Work : The Indicator from Planet Money The use of technologies that help office workers do their work remotely could have unanticipated, long-lasting effects for low-skilled workers too.

Work After COVID

Work After COVID

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OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images
Six-year-old Leo (R) and his three-year old brother Espen (C) complete homeschooling activities suggested by the online learning website of their infant school, as his mother Moira, an employee of a regional council, works from home (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, a lot of attention has been given to the effects of technology in helping people do their work. Like more people using Zoom or Slack to communicate so that they don't have to go into the office.

But these office workers who can keep doing their work remotely tend to be doing pretty high-skilled jobs, jobs that require college degrees, and pay pretty well. But the use of these same technologies might end up having long-lasting, and underappreciated, effects on other workers—people who do lower-paid jobs, which often don't require a college degree. And that has not gotten as much attention.

Today on the show, a chat with Elisabeth Reynolds, who leads the Task Force on the Work of the Future at MIT. Along with the labor economist David Autor, she just finished a new report on the four consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the labor market—and specifically the consequences for lower-paid work.

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