Not working from home is a new public engagement project organised by TSU's Dr Anna Plyushteva which documents the daily lives of key workers who, during the COVID-19 pandemic, perform essential work that cannot be done from home. The objective of this work is to shift the public debate on the impact of COVID-19 on everyday life, and have a tangible impact on transport research and policy, in helping to shape the debate on 'essential mobilities' during major crises and disruptive events.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first took hold in March 2020, almost all public focus has been on the effects of working from home. The particular challenges and uncertainties of continuing to go to a workplace have received much less attention. The submissions to this project reflect these, with medics describing the worries of using public transport before and after working in a hospital, and public transport workers sharing their own concerns about being on the move.

By drawing on the direct accounts of key workers themselves, this project aims to contribute to appropriate planning for the needs of key workers in future crises, for example in relation to reliable, affordable and safe public transport provision.

The project, which launched in March 2021 consists of a virtual exhibition of photos, short audio and video recordings, and brief texts submitted by key workers themselves. Funded through Public Engagement with Research Seed fund, it is open to entries from all over the world until 30 June 2021. The project will conclude on 31 August and the exhibition will remain available online until 31 December 2021. Between March and June 2021, a monthly panel will also recognise several submissions with awards.

To submit and entry to the exhibition, visit:

Anna's research interests within the Transport Studies Unit focus on the ability of different social groups to access mobility and immobility. Find out more about Anna's research