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Remote work in Spain - statistics & facts

Remote work. Telecommuting. Working from home or its acronymized version WFH. Many are the terms that have been coined to describe this modern working format that emerged in the modern era, but only took center stage during 2020 with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presence of the World Wide Web in practically all economically developed regions and the high number of professionals involved in service activities across the globe constituted the ideal setup to allow many to work from their homes.

From rare to daily

Before the sharp surge of telecommuting in 2020, teleworking was, however, an asset that only a lucky few could enjoy. February 2020 registered very low rates of people working from home in Europe, with the Netherlands and Finland recording the largest figures at 14 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively. In comparison, Spain registered much lower rates, with only about 4.3 percent of its labor force working from home.

By March 2020, this situation changed very drastically with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, Spain experienced a substantial increase in the population that worked from home due to a series of restrictions implemented by the Spanish government. In an attempt to curb the high number of infections in the country, these measures included a home lockdown that eliminated all non-essential activities outside the home. As a result of this, over three million Spaniards worked from home throughout 2020, which was three times the figure of approximately 952 thousand that had been registered the previous year. With shares of 30 percent and 19 percent, respectively, the Community of Madrid and Catalonia recorded the highest share of teleworkers.

Remote work: not for every profession

Whether or not a person can work from home depends highly on their level of education and the nature of employment. In Spain, the latest studies point to greater odds of telecommuting for the vast majority of people that had completed higher education degrees. Over 60 percent of the more highly educated individuals could work from home in comparison with only 26 percent of those who were less educated. This is directly linked with a professional’s type of employment, since activities in the primary sector are predominantly conducted onsite. This means that managerial, scientific or office positions are, to a larger extent, more suitable to be performed from home, whereas machinery operators, restaurant staff, and the military have WFH rates close to zero.

Those fortunate enough to have the chance to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic reported a very high degree of satisfaction, with approximately 70 percent stating they were very or rather satisfied with telecommuting in 2020. As a matter of fact, over 75 percent think it is a great working format and about 63 percent stated they would not mind continuing on a WFH-basis even after the pandemic is over. However, despite these extremely positive reviews, some also acknowledge a few downsides. More than half of the Spanish teleworkers feel disconnected from their workplace, and over 64 percent fear being overcontrolled by their employers, proving that, when it comes to working from home, all that glitters is not gold.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Remote work in Spain" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

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Remote work in Spain

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Remote work in Spain - statistics & facts

Remote work. Telecommuting. Working from home or its acronymized version WFH. Many are the terms that have been coined to describe this modern working format that emerged in the modern era, but only took center stage during 2020 with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presence of the World Wide Web in practically all economically developed regions and the high number of professionals involved in service activities across the globe constituted the ideal setup to allow many to work from their homes.

From rare to daily

Before the sharp surge of telecommuting in 2020, teleworking was, however, an asset that only a lucky few could enjoy. February 2020 registered very low rates of people working from home in Europe, with the Netherlands and Finland recording the largest figures at 14 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively. In comparison, Spain registered much lower rates, with only about 4.3 percent of its labor force working from home.

By March 2020, this situation changed very drastically with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, Spain experienced a substantial increase in the population that worked from home due to a series of restrictions implemented by the Spanish government. In an attempt to curb the high number of infections in the country, these measures included a home lockdown that eliminated all non-essential activities outside the home. As a result of this, over three million Spaniards worked from home throughout 2020, which was three times the figure of approximately 952 thousand that had been registered the previous year. With shares of 30 percent and 19 percent, respectively, the Community of Madrid and Catalonia recorded the highest share of teleworkers.

Remote work: not for every profession

Whether or not a person can work from home depends highly on their level of education and the nature of employment. In Spain, the latest studies point to greater odds of telecommuting for the vast majority of people that had completed higher education degrees. Over 60 percent of the more highly educated individuals could work from home in comparison with only 26 percent of those who were less educated. This is directly linked with a professional’s type of employment, since activities in the primary sector are predominantly conducted onsite. This means that managerial, scientific or office positions are, to a larger extent, more suitable to be performed from home, whereas machinery operators, restaurant staff, and the military have WFH rates close to zero.

Those fortunate enough to have the chance to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic reported a very high degree of satisfaction, with approximately 70 percent stating they were very or rather satisfied with telecommuting in 2020. As a matter of fact, over 75 percent think it is a great working format and about 63 percent stated they would not mind continuing on a WFH-basis even after the pandemic is over. However, despite these extremely positive reviews, some also acknowledge a few downsides. More than half of the Spanish teleworkers feel disconnected from their workplace, and over 64 percent fear being overcontrolled by their employers, proving that, when it comes to working from home, all that glitters is not gold.

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