Working from home after COVID-19: Evidence from job postings in 20 countries

By Pawel Adrjan, Gabriele Ciminelli, Alexandre Judes, Michael Koelle, Cyrille Schwellnus, Tara Sinclair

Latest version of the paper (December 2022)

We study the adoption of telework during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We assemble a novel high-frequency database of job postings advertising work from home (telework) covering 20 countries and 55 occupational categories from January 2019 to September 2022, using data from the online job site Indeed. Exploiting changes in pandemic severity across countries and differences in the feasibility of telework across occupations in a triple-differences identification strategy, we find that (i) increases in pandemic severity substantially raise advertised telework but (ii) declines have no effect on advertised telework. Even though technologies that enable effective telework – such as rapid broadband internet, file sharing via the cloud and video calls – had been available for many years, the pandemic may have triggered path dependence in its adoption. Public policies will need to adapt to make the most of permanently higher telework in terms of productivity and worker well-being.

Dataset (last updated: September 2022)

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Additional links

Conference and seminar presentations

  • Banque de France and OECD Global Forum on Productivity (GFP) Workshop (Paris, Dec 2021)
  • ONS Economic Data Science Seminar (Cardiff, Jun 2022)
  • IAB/LISER Conference: Labour markets during and after the COVID-19 pandemic (Nuremberg, Oct 2022)
  • Digit Debates (Brighton, Nov 2022)
  • Asian and Australian Society of Labour Economics Annual Conference (Tokyo, Dec 2022)
  • ASSA 2023 Annual Meeting (New Orleans, Jan 2023)

Selected media coverage

Bloomberg (Dec 2021), Bloomberg (Jan 2022), Wall Street Journal, Le Figaro, BFM TV, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Irish Times, RTÉ, SVT, Economic Times