This project explores UK-based disabled workers’ experiences of remote and hybrid working, specifically in how to make remote and hybrid working (working both at home and from the office) more inclusive to promote disabled workers’ recruitment, job retention and progression. It builds upon a previous Work Foundation-led research project conducted by some members of this project team focused on making hybrid work more inclusive, which can be found in full on the Work Foundation website by clicking anywhere on this line.
Disabled people have significantly lower employment rates than non-disabled people. Remote working supports disabled workers’ job retention by enabling them to manage work around their health conditions/impairments, yet has often been withheld by employers. The COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread remote working and many employers have retained it or introduced hybrid working, opening up new opportunities for disabled workers to work from home more freely than in the pre-pandemic era.
The flexibility and autonomy provided by remote/hybrid working may help to narrow the disability employment gap but only if it is designed and implemented by employers and policymakers to be inclusive of disabled workers’ needs and preferences. Failing to do so will create further employment and health inequities. For example, a lack of duplicate specialist equipment in the office and home and inaccessible digital technologies prevent disabled workers’ full participation at work.
The project will run from 2023 through to December 2024. Fieldwork begin in June 2023 with the launch of a UK-wide survey exploring disabled workers’ experiences of remote and/or hybrid working, which can be found by clicking here.
Please feel free to explore this website to learn more about the project, and how you can get involved.