Remote work will be here to stay after the pandemic, but more likely in advanced economies and in higher concentrations among workers in highly skilled roles and skilled workers, according to recent research by McKinsey & Company.
The report was based on an in-depth analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries conducted by McKinsey researchers (see full methodology here).
The analysis found that finance / insurance, management, professional / technical services, and IT / telecommunications workers could work remotely more than half the time without loss of productivity. These sectors usually have a significant proportion of workers with a university degree or higher.
On the other hand, workers in sectors such as agriculture, housing and hospitality currently have little potential for remote working without loss of productivity.
As more workers tend to be employed in areas such as financial services in advanced economies, analysis shows that their workers have higher potential for remote work.
In emerging economies, employment tends to be focused on occupations that require physical and manual activities, reducing opportunities for remote work.
Due to the different composition of the workforce, the potential for remote working varies greatly from country to country.
For example, in the US, 22% of employees could work remotely 3-5 days a week without impacting productivity, while in India only 5% could do so, according to the analysis.
About research: The report is based on an in-depth analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs and nine countries.