OECD study: Work from home is here to stay

A new global study of workers in 25 countries by the OECD suggests that work from home (WFH) arrangements will be a permanent fixture post-pandemic:

Both employees and managers found working from home during the pandemic was positive for performance and well-being, a report by the OECD found. The proportion of staff teleworking at least one day a week is expected to be much higher than before the pandemic.

A separate study by OECD researchers of job postings on the website Indeed found that the substantial increase in advertised telework in Covid lockdowns was only reversed modestly when the restrictions were eased.

“These results suggest that telework is here to stay, especially in countries with high levels of digital preparedness,” researchers said.

To adapt, researchers analyzing the survey results said governments should ensure reliable Internet coverage, set regulations to make telework possible and provide training for those at risk of being left behind in a remote working world, including women and employees of smaller companies. They also said workers should be protected from too much working from home, which can harm wellbeing and productivity.

According to respondents in the survey, the ideal amount of telework is two-to-three days a week in order to balance benefits, such as less commuting and fewer distractions at home, with costs such as impaired communication and missing serendipitous interactions.

I am obviously an avid supporter of working from home (WFH), given I have done so for nearly a decade while working at MB.

I have also asked literally dozens of people whether they wanted to return to the office full time. Every single one of them have said ‘no’, with all wanting to work some type of hybrid model where they split time between the home and the office.

The reasons were almost always the same: time and cost savings from not having to commute and flexibility. A few people also cited cost savings from not having to pay for childcare or nannies.

Judging from the OECD study (alongside others), WFH is a permanent structural shift that will endure long after the pandemic has ended.

Unconventional Economist
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