CONFERENCE – (Remote) work and Covid: mobility, safety, and health at the time of the pandemic

17.06.2021 - 18.06.2021
Tallinn University, -, -, Estland.


A two-day conference organised by Tallinn Anthropology and EASA Anthropology of Labour network is looking for contributions on how the global pandemic is changing labor

across the world

Where and how work is done has changed during the COVID pandemic. This workshop focuses on two interrelated aspects: (remote) work and mobilities and their impact on work-related safety and health.

Covid-induced remote work has created new mobility patterns and is changing the notions of the workplace and of remoteness. At the same time, it has raised questions about who can work remotely and under which conditions. Pandemic-time working arrangements which are creating new flexibility for some workers are instead requiring more flexibility from others.

Reorganisation of the labour process and the labour market during the pandemic raise new questions about job-related safety and health issues in the widest sense of the term. Covid has brought along job and income insecurities, precarity and unemployment. Remote work, work-related migration, mobility or the impossibility of it has had a deep impact on workers’ mental and physical health, well-being and safety. These developments point to larger issues regarding the future of work, and to new divisions in whose work is valued and/or valorised and whose health is deemed important.

We are particularly interested in ethnographic explorations of what are the changing working arrangements due to Covid and how they have impacted mental and physical health, perceptions of danger and well-being. Questions can include but are not limited to:
· How have different modes and expectations of remote work impacted people’s work practices?

· What are/were the nationally and internationally accepted or negotiated classifications and experiences of those doing ‘essential’ or ‘key’ work and who were not able to work remotely (in the hospitals, factories and supermarkets) during the Covid pandemic?

· How have intersectional inequalities as gender/race/class/age/disability impacted on the experience of working (remotely) during Covid?

· What are/were the public discourses about particular professions, social classes and their work as potential agents of spreading or stopping viruses?

· What happens to informal and/or invisible labor under pandemic restrictions, and what new kinds of risks are surfacing?

· How have concepts of labour migration and geographic/social mobility transformed or consolidated since the outbreak of the pandemic?

We are hoping to have up to 15 participants physically travelling to Tallinn but the event will be designed in a hybrid mode to enable those participants who cannot travel to join. Travel costs for participants within Europe will be covered by the Estonian Research Council PUT 1263 and Tallinn University School of Humanities.

Eeva Kesküla, Mariya Ivancheva and Dan Vesalainen Hirslund

Please send your queries and your abstracts to Eeva Kesküla ( by 1st of April