The Baltic Region

2020 Vol. 12 №4

Back to the list Download the article

Impact of remigration on the worksphere under Covid-19: the case of Lithuania



Remigration opens up the opportunity for a country to see the return of its citizens from migration, bringing with them their ideas, knowledge, values and skills. The work sphere is one of the main areas where these social remittances can be used. Still, very little attention is paid to the workplace in social remittance literature. Therefore, the first aim of this article is to explore the types of remigrants’ social remittances, the ways they are transmitted and their acceptance in the work sphere. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the work sphere was heavily affected as many workplaces were closed because of the quarantine and requirements to maintain social distancing. Thus, the second aim of this article is to investigate the impact of Covid-19 on the transfer of remigrants’ social remittances to the work sphere. The article is based on 15 interviews with highly-qualified remigrants and five interviews with their colleagues working in Lithuania. The interviews were conducted in May–July 2020 within the project ‘Social remittances of remigrants for society welfare growth: challenges and experiences in a comparative perspective’, financed by the Research Council of Lithuania.


1. Žvalionytė, D. 2014. The Integration of Return Migrants in Their Home Country’s Labour Market Evidence from Lithuania, Summary of PhD thesis. doi:

2. Haynes, M., Galasińska, A. 2016, Narrating Migrant Workplace Experiences: Social Remittances to Poland as Knowledge of British Workplace Cultures, Central and Eastern European Migration Review, vol. 5, no. 2, p. 41—62. doi:

3. Grabowska, I. 2017, Social Skills, Workplaces and Social Remittances: A Case of Post-Accession Migrants, Work, Employment and Society, vol. 32, no. 5, p. 868—886. doi: 10.1177/0950017017719840

4. Grabowska, I. 2018, Social remittances: Channels of diffusion. In: The impact of Migration on Poland: EU Mobility and Social Change, UCL Press.

5. Levitt, P. 1998, Social Remittances: Migration Driven Local-Level Forms of Cultural Diffusion, International Migration Review, vol. 32, no. 4, p. 926—948.

6. Levitt, P., Lamba-Nieves, D. 2011, Social Remittances Revisited, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 37, no. 1, p. 1—22. doi:

7. Johnson, B., Sedaca, S. 2004, Diasporas, Émigrés and Development: Economic Linkages and Programmatic Responses. In: A Special Study of the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Trade Enhancement for the Services Sector (TESS) Project, available at: (accessed 17.09.2020).

8. Kuznetsov, Y. 2010, From Brain Drain to Brain Circulation? How Countries Can Draw on Their Talent Abroad, World Bank Institute, Presentation at the conference “Science against Poverty”, La Granja, Spain, available at: (accessed 17.09.2020).

9. Kuznetsov, Y. 2013, Main conceptual, empirical, and policy issues. In: Kuznetsov, Y. (ed.) How can talent abroad induce development at home? Towards a Pragmatic Diaspora Agenda, Migration Policy Institute.

10. Pérez-Armendáriz, C., Crow, D. 2010, Do Migrants Remit Democracy? International Migration, Political Beliefs, and Behavior in Mexico, Comparative Political Studies, vol. 43, no. 1, p. 119—148. doi:

11. Boccagn, P., Lafleur, J. M., Levitt, P. 2016, Transnational Politics as Cultural Circulation: Toward a Conceptual Understanding of Migrant Political Participation on the Move, Mobilities, vol. 11, no. 3, p. 444—463. doi:

12. Plaza, S., Radha, D. 2011, Harnessing Diaspora Resources for Africa. In: Diaspora for development in Africa, Washington, The World Bank, available at: (accessed 09.09.2020).

13. Brinkerhoff, J. M. 2012, Creating an Enabling Environment for Diasporas’ Participation in Homeland Development, International Migration, vol. 50, no. 1, p. 75—95. doi:

14. Kapur, D. 2014, Political Effects of International Migration, The Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 17, p. 479—502. doi:

15. Gudelis, D., Gečienė, I., Jakulevičienė, L. 2012, Lietuvos diasporos potencialo panaudojimas valstybės gerovei kurti: Europos sąjungos šalių narių geroji praktika, available at: (accessed 03.09.2020).

16. Gečienė, I., Kanopaitė, S. 2015, Diasporos indėlis į Lietuvos gerovės kūrimą. In: Diasporos profesionalai: kaip juos telkti kuriant Lietuvos gerovę, Mykolo Romerio universitetas ir Socialinių inovacijų institutas.

17. Gečienė, I., Matulaitis, Š. 2012, Lithuanian Diaspora Role in Sustainable Development of Country, Regional Formation and Development Studies, vol. 3, no. 8, p. 84—91.

18. Grabowska, I., Engbersen, G. 2016, Social Remittances and the Impact of Temporary Migration on an EU Sending Country: The Case of Poland, Central and Eastern European Migration Review, vol. 5, no. 2, p. 99—117.

19. Karolak, M. 2016, From Potential to Actual Social Remittances? Exploring How Polish Return Migrants Cope with Difficult Employment Conditions, Central and Eastern European Migration Review, vol. 5, no. 2, p. 21—39.

20. Sandu, D. 2016, Remittances as Home Orientation Rooted in the Lifeworlds of Immigrants, Central and Eastern European Migration Review, vol. 5, no. 2, p. 81—98.

21. Čiubrinskas, V. 2018, Returning with Resources: Social Remittances and the uncertain belonging of transatlantic remigrants. In: Hornstein-Tomic, C., Pichler, R., Scholl-Schneider, S. (eds.) Remigration to Post-Socialist Europe: Hopes and Realities of Return, Wien, Zurich, LIT Verlag.

22. Cingolani, P., Vietti, F. 2019, My Parents Fell behind‘: Social Remittances, Integration and Generational Change among Moldovan Immigrants, Journal of International Migration and Integration. doi:

23. Drbohlav, D., Dzurova, D. 2020, Social Remittances upon Closer Examination: Moldovan Migrants in Prague, Czechia and Turin, Italy, Problems of Post-Communism. doi:

24. White, A. 2016, An Inside-Out Approach to Social Remittances: Linking Migration and Social Change in Poland. In: Nowicka, M., Šerbedžia, V. (eds.) Migration and Social Remittances in a Global Europe, Palgrave McMillan. doi:

25. White, A., Grabowska, I. 2019, Social Remittances and Social Change in Central and Eastern Europe: Embedding Migration in the Study of Society, Central and Eastern European Migration Review, Vol. 8, no. 1, p. 33—50.

26. Garapich, M. 2016, I Don’t Want This Town to Change’: Resistance, Bifocality and the Infra-Politics of Social Remittances”, Central and Eastern European Migration Review, vol. 5, no. 2, p. 155—165.

27. Dzięglewski, M. 2016, Return Migration and Social Change in Poland: ‘Closures’ to Migrants’ Non-Economic Transfers, Central and Eastern European Migration Review, vol. 5, no. 2, p. 167—188.

28. Nevinskaitė, L. 2016, Social Remittances from the Professional Diaspora: The Issue of Home-Country Receptivity, Central and Eastern European Migration Review, vol. 5, no. 2, p. 135—153.

29. King, R., Buzinska, L., Lulle, A. 2016, Beyond Remittances: Knowledge Transfer among Highly Educated Latvian Youth Abroad, Sociology of Development, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 183—203.

30. Järvinen-Alenius, P., Virkama, A. 2010, Transformative Impact of Social Remittances in Transnational Settings. In: Faist T. et al. (eds). Transnationalisation and Institutional Transformations, Bielefeld, University of Bielefeld, Center on Migration, Citizenship and Development.

31. Levitt, P., Rajaram, N. 2013, The Migration–Development Nexus and Organizational Time, International Migration Review, vol. 47, no. 3, p. 483—507. doi:

32. Kivisto, P. 2001, Theorizing transnational immigration: a critical review of current efforts, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 24, no. 4, p. 549—77. doi:

33. Snel, E., Engbersen, G., Leerkes, A. 2006, Transnational involvement and social integration, Global Networks, vol. 6, no. 3, p. 285—308. doi:

34. Siar, S. 2011, Skilled Migration, Knowledge Transfer and Development: The Case of the Highly Skilled Filipino Migrants in New Zealand and Australia, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, vol. 30, no. 3, p. 61—94. doi:

35. Ambrosini, M. 2014, Migration and Transnational Commitment: Some Evidence from the Italian Case, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 4,. no. 4, p. 619—637. doi:

36. Ahmadov, A. K., Sasse, G. 2016, Empowering to engage with the homeland: do migration experience and environment foster political remittances? Comparative Migration Studies, vol. 4, p. 1—25. doi:

37. Stankūnienė, V. 2016, Lietuvos populiacijos nykimo tempai nemažėja,, 09.02.2016, available at: (accessed 10.08.2020).

38. Rakauskė, R. 2020, Nykstanti Lietuva auga: prognozuoja Airijos scenarijų,, 22.09.2020, available at: (accessed 23.09.2020).

39. Allen, T. D., Cho, E., Meier, L. L. 2014 Work–family boundary dynamics, Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 99—121. doi:

40. Robinson, B. 2020, What Studies Reveal About Social Distancing And Remote Working During Coronavirus, Forbes, 4.4.2020, available at: (accessed 11.09.2020),

41. Shaw, W. S., Main, Ch. J., Findley, P. A., Collie, A., Kristman, V. L., Gross, D. P. 2020, Opening the Workplace After COVID-19: What Lessons Can be Learned from Return-to-Work Research? Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, vol. 30, no. 3, p. 299—302. doi:

42. Pimentel, E. 2020, COVID-19 could have a lasting, positive impact on workplace culture, The Conversation, 10.08.2020, available at: (accessed 26.10.2020).