From potential to practice: Preliminary findings on the numbers of workers working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

Briefing note | 31 March 2021
Key points:
- We update estimates of working from home during the pandemic using data from 33 household surveys covering 31 countries.
- We estimate that during the second quarter of 2020, 557 million workers worked from home, accounting for 17.4 per cent of the world’s employment.
- The figure is derived by stratifying the world’s workers by country income and deriving a worldwide estimate with a 95% confidence interval that ranges from 14.9 per cent and 19.9 per cent, with 17.4 per cent as the midpoint
- The 17.4 percent estimate, based upon real world data from household surveys, is remarkably close to the ILO estimate of 18 per cent published in May 2020 using only the occupational distribution of employment and a Delphi study of home-workability.