To understand the implications of the pandemic on the population, EUROFOUND carried out an online survey “Living, Working and COVID-19” in two stages: in April, when most EU Member States were confined, and last July. The survey is broader in scope but one chapter deals specifically with telework.
Almost half of the employees in the sample worked from home at least part of the time during the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, this included service employees, city dwellers, employees or managers and those with a higher level of education.
One third of the teleworkers reported working exclusively at home (more than 50% in Belgium and more than 40% in Ireland, Italy, Spain and France). Just under half (47%) reported that their employer had provided the necessary equipment to work at home. Teleworkers report more often than all employees working in their free time, especially when there are children in the household. They also report that most of the time there is no physical separation between working and living spaces.
This seems to have been a positive experience for many employees (70%). More than three quarters of the employees (78%) surveyed indicated that they preferred to work from home at least occasionally. The preferred frequency was several times a week (32%). Very few respondents (13%) indicated that they would like to telework from home on a daily basis. Finally, the shift to “all teleworking” is not unanimous: almost half (45%) of the respondents who had not worked from home during the Covid-19 crisis indicated that they would prefer never to telework.