Why Working From Home Shouldn’t Be Taken For Granted

In BICSI Blog, BICSI Bytes, Featured, Newsby info@bicsi.com.au

A recent report from Statista conveyed the correlation between how different industry sectors were impacted by COVID-19 and the effectiveness of each industry’s personnel to work from home.

As daily new COVID-19 cases continue to spike in the US, fears of another lockdown are mounting. While some people might loathe the idea of working from home, it’s important to remember that being able to telecommute is a privilege these days, with the alternative being unemployment in many cases.

According to a recent analysis by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), not all jobs are created equal in terms of the possibility to do them from home. While the BLS estimates that 81.1% of those employed in the financial services sector have the ability to work remotely, jobs in agriculture, forestry and fishing are (unsurprisingly) at the other end of the scale with just 8% of employees able to telework.

The BLS’s data also reveals a clear link between the ability to work from home and the effect of the pandemic on employment within an industry. While employment in financial activities declined by just 6% between February and April, the number of jobs dropped by more than 40% in the leisure and hospitality sector, where just 20% of employees have the ability to work from home.

“This differential effect exists both within and across major industries, and it is likely to persist throughout the pandemic,” the BLS concluded. “The extent to which working patterns will be permanently affected by the pandemic is an open question. One might speculate that the take-up rate will increase permanently as workers and employers become more comfortable with telework arrangements.”