Working from Home: Estimating the worldwide potential
Staying in one’s job but performing work remotely is an excellent strategy for mitigating job losses and allowing for the continuation of many of our economies’ functions, but also for keeping the population safe. The objective of this brief is to estimate the potential share of workers across the different regions of the world who could perform their activities from home, if needed, as well as to discuss some of the policy issues associated with working from home.
As the COVID-19 pandemic destroys lives and ravages economies across the globe, epidemiologists and doctors have made it clear that the virus spreads where people congregate: schools, public transportation, and workplaces. An important measure taken by governments across the world to contain the spread of COVID-19 is to encourage those who can work from home to do so. As a result, as of mid-April 2020, 59 countries had implemented telework for non-essential publicly employed staff. And whether in lockdown or not, governments across the world have encouraged employers to allow working from home as a means to further physical distancing.