Opportunities for women to work at home in the industrial revolution 4.0

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At present, Indonesia has entered the era of industrial revolution 4.0, and it has touched on various aspects of life, both social and economic. The importance of the use of technology, especially communication and information, appears from the results of a survey by the Association of Internet Service Providers (APJI) in 2017 that internet users in Indonesia reached more than 50 percent or around 143 million people. In terms of usage, most of the internet is used for main work, namely to communicate with consumers (76.5%), and for marketing / promotional purposes (60.3%).

Supported by other connectivity technologies such as laptops, software, smartphones, and WiFi, internet technology can provide flexible job opportunities. The type of work that can be done remotely or at home (Wynarczyk & Graham, 2013). This flexible work can be an opportunity, especially by women who have often been faced with two problems, such as between entering the labor market or taking care of the household.

The results showed that internet technology is important to support women working at home. Opportunities for women who use internet technology in their primary jobs are 1.129 times greater than women who are not internet users to work at home. Internet technology makes it easy for women to carry out their work at home. Besides, the increase in digital-based activities has led to the emergence of forms of teleworking work (can be done remotely). One of the examples, freelance workers, and they can work at home. Changes in the behavior of digital-based community transactions also allow businesses that do not require a particular place, such as online sales, that do not have to have a physical store.

Job training is also essential to encourage women to work. Those who have attended the training are 1,051 times more likely to work at home than those who have never participated in work training. Certified training provides expertise to the workforce, and this affects their competence.

In contrast, work experience shows different results from job training, where women with work experience have 0.854 times less chance than women with work experience to work at home and supported by the results of Sakernas in February 2018. The majority of workers who work at home are in the informal sector (66.3%). The informal sector tends not to require prior work experience because it is easy to enter and easy to leave. Furthermore, women in cities have 0.623 times less chance to work at home than women in rural areas. Besides, it is related to job opportunities in urban areas more than in rural areas, so that urban women have more significant opportunities to work outside the home.

It can be concluded that several factors provide a greater opportunity for a woman to work at home in the industrial revolution 4.0 era. Such as the use of the internet for original work; younger age; not married; highly educated; attended job training, and lived in rural areas. If seen further, the role of higher education generally applies to opportunities for women to enter the labor market, regardless of whether working at home or outside the home. Likewise, the job training factor is one of the essential factors in shaping the competence of women workers to be able to work at home. For policymakers, work education and training is still an important focus to continue to improve, because these two aspects will shape the quality of the female workforce in the future.

The problem between work and household care for women can be the bridge for those who want to do both. Women who choose to work at home can be one solution to overcome high unemployment. However, increasing the participation of women in the labor market should be accompanied by the quality of their work, where women who work at home are still dominated by informal work. The informal sector is one of the agendas promoted as decent work by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Internet will provide greater opportunities for women to participate in the labor market, especially for female workers who work at home. Furthermore, women in rural areas who have more significant opportunities to work at home should also receive adequate internet connection facilities. Not only infrastructure that supports the internet connection, but also needs some kind of training for women to be more optimal in using this technology, for example, training in marketing/promotion strategies, branding, and the introduction of digital-based transactions.

Author: Dr. Lilik Sugiharti, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Airlangga Link: https://journal.uny.ac.id/index.php/economia/article/view/24694/pdf

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