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How to create a remote work policy that works

March 15, 2023

What role should the office play, and can companies create equitable and sustainable WFH policies that work for all employees? Sarah Kaplan and Carmina Ravanera weigh in on the latest episode of the Executive Summary.

In the latest episode of the Rotman Executive Summary podcast, professor Sarah Kaplan and Carmina Ravanera from the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) explore how equity and accessibility can play a role in the back-to-office conversation.

As leaders across corporate Canada continue to test their versions of remote and hybrid work policies, Kaplan says it’s clear the demands of workers are changing.

“Leaders don’t always know how to respond to [changing demands] in terms of how to design work and how to change their policies,” Kaplan says. “And many of them are worried about the effects on inequality."

The research suggests there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and both workers and organizations benefit from policies that remove the stigma of remote work. It can be particularly helpful for those in caregiving roles — who happen to be largely women — people of colour who experience micro-aggressions in a traditional office setting and those who can only afford to be homeowners outside of the city.

“[Remote work] increases job satisfaction, people's feelings of motivation when they're working and even job performance," says Ravanera, who was recently featured in the National Post sharing insights from GATE’s report, “The Future of Work: Will Remote Work Help or Hinder the Pursuit of Equality?

Next month on Rotman Executive Summary, associate professor Aida Sijamic Wahid weighs in on the importance of diversifying the demographic, skillsets and perspectives of a company’s board of directors.

If you missed the previous episode with professor Ming Hu on the future of the sharing economy, click here.

New episodes of the Rotman Executive Summary are released monthly on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Soundcloud. Desktop listeners can also tune in on Simplecast.

Would you rather read than listen in? Check out the full transcript of the episode here.

Written by Jessie Park | More Faculty Research Profiles »

Meet the researchers

Sarah Kaplan

Professor of Strategic Management
Director, Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE)
Distinguished Professor of Gender & the Economy

Read her bio »

Carmina Ravanera

Senior Research Associate, GATE

Read her bio »