Better paid jobs more likely to allow homeworking

New study shows better paid jobs are the most likely to be done from home, with men least likely to work from home.

Working at home

 

Employees in higher-paying jobs are more likely to be able to work from home, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis of how adaptable jobs are to remote working.

The report says the five factors associated with being less able to work from home are:

  • whether the job has to be carried out in a specific location
  • amount of face-to-face interaction with others
  • exposure to burns, infections and other hazards
  • whether the job requires physical activity
  • use of tools or protective equipment
  • the extent to which digital communication is integrated into the workplace, and whether employees have the technology they need to work from home.

Since the start of the pandemic, many employees have been unable to work because of restrictions imposed to control COVID-19. But in April 2020, ONS figures showed 47% of employees were working at least some of the time from home.

The report shows chief executives and senior officials, whose median earnings are £44.08 an hour, are among those most able to work remotely, as are financial managers and directors (£31.38) and programmers and software development professionals (£21.97). The median earnings of employees in the 20% of the workforce most likely to be able to work from home is £19.01, compared with £11.28 for workers in the 20% of workers in jobs least likely to be adaptable to home working.

It also shows that among the jobs least likely to be able to work from home are those done by frontline workers, many of which have been designated as “key workers” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the jobs least likely to be able to be carried out from home, the main factor contributing to the score was the use of tools and specialist equipment. The exposure and physical activities factors generally also contributed more than location and interaction intensity.

The top 20% of workers most likely to be able to work from home are fairly representative of the gender split in the workforce as a whole: 49% are women. However, the fifth of workers least likely to be able to work from home are mostly men: 75% of workers in these jobs are men, compared with 48% of the whole workforce.

Jobs based in workplaces in London and the South East are much more likely to be possible to do from home compared with the rest of the UK, probably due to a higher proportion of professional occupations in the region, says the ONS.

 



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