Remote work trends in the EU before and after the COVID-19

Article by JobTerix IN DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION - 11/30/2022

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, most companies resorted to operating remotely since authorities heavily restricted movements in all the EU countries and the rest of the world. Several companies and solopreneurs in the EU still embrace the idea of working remotely even after the pandemic due to the financial benefits it has over operating physically.

Let’s discuss some of the remote working trends in the EU before and after the pandemic.

More people are working remotely even after the pandemic

A study by EUFOUND discovered that over 40% of those currently working remotely started during the pandemic. According to a recent JRC study, 25% of employees in the EU are currently working remotely. This percentage was at around 15% before the pandemic. This clearly shows that organizations and solopreneurs in the EU have embraced the idea of teleworking even after the pandemic.

Remote working is more in ICT and Knowledge-intensive services

Even before the pandemic, the idea of remote working was pretty common in these sectors. By 2018, over 40% of employees in the IT and communications sectors were already working remotely, either frequently or sometimes. This percentage was about 35% for knowledge-intensive services, including Legal and Accounting services, management consultancy services, architectural and engineering services, technical testing and analysis, scientific research and development, and more.

Even after the pandemic, the ICT and knowledge-intensive sectors are still leading in embracing remote work. For several other services, such as sales workers, personal service workers, keyboard clerks, and more, remote working is a new concept that most companies offering such services are still adopting due to the lack of proper systems and infrastructure to effectively implement it.

Finland has the highest share of remote workers

A report by Weforum shows that by the end of 2021, over 25.1% of the workforce in Finland was frequently operating from home. Luxembourg and Ireland are in the second position, with over 20% of the workforce frequently working remotely. Eastern European countries have the smallest number of remote workers.

Of course, the factors that affect the number of remote workers in these countries largely depend on the dominant sectors and their flexibility to allow their workforce to operate remotely without affecting overall productivity. The telecommunication infrastructure of these countries also affects the ability to operate remotely.