Fact of the Week: Teleworking Options Are Expected to Remain Available After COVID-19 for 70 Percent of Workforces Employed in Knowledge-Intensive Services
Source: Criscuolo et al., “The Role of Telework for Productivity During and Post Covid-19: Results from an OECD Survey Among Managers and Workers,” OECD Productivity Working Papers, December 2021.
Commentary: A recent OECD survey and report on the role of telework in today’s economy show positive views from both labor and managerial perspectives on the implementation of remote-work-enabling IT, reflecting permanence of this technology infrastructure for the future. In a survey of over 1,300 managers and 3,400 workers across 26 nations, OECD found that 63 percent of managers and 74 percent of workers had a positive overall assessment of their teleworking. These positive responses indicate improvements in company performance alongside subjective improvements in worker well-being. Managers found that company productivity improved under a companywide teleworking policy, with the strongest ratings on productivity improvement made from managers of firms in “hybrid” models, where workers share time between the home and office. In addition to productivity gains, managers reported the ability to employ talented workers who live far away as the next-highest benefit of telework adoption.
Among workers, nearly 90 percent of respondents stated that time- and cost-savings from commute reductions were the greatest advantage of remote work. Second to commute reductions, nearly 85 percent of workers corroborated productivity improvements due to improved concentration as the next-best benefit of telework adoption. Given the widespread benefits to productivity observed by both managers and workers alike, it should be unsurprising that telework adoption remains steadfast among firms where tasks are easily facilitated by IT. Indeed, 70 percent of managers from firms in knowledge-intensive services reported they anticipate leaving their teleworking policies in place for the foreseeable future.