ICT workers at home most often during coronavirus crisis

© Hollandse Hoogte / Piet den Blanken
In Q2 2020, (partial) telecommuting was most prevalent among employees with ICT occupations. Relative to Q1, the share of ICT professionals working from home doubled, exceeding 40 percent; this was the largest increase among all occupational groups. At the highest skill level in particular, all or part of the job activity was performed remotely. This is shown by new figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Also relatively likely to work from home were managers, employees with creative or linguistic occupations and teaching professionals, although the shares of teleworking managers and teaching professionals were virtually unchanged from one year previously. In Q2, the share of (partial) teleworkers did increase among creative and linguistic occupations.
On the other hand, there are workers whose jobs are unsuitable for teleworking, e.g. those in service provision, transport and logistics or agriculture. These types of jobs have consistently shown relatively low shares of teleworkers.

Employees working from home, by occupational group, Q2
 2020 (%)2019 (%)
Creative and linguistic35.826
Business and administration29.115.7
Public administration, security, legal25.318.7
Other 20.712
Care and welfare1813.8
Service providing3.81.8
Transport and logistics1.50.7

Working from home most common at top skill level

In Q2, ICT professionals at the highest skill level (4) worked from home most often. This share amounted to 44 percent among skill level-4 ICT professionals, versus 25 percent at skill level 3. In other occupational groups as well, those at the top skill level were relatively most likely to perform their activities from home. At 28 percent, this share was lowest among the highest-level care and welfare workers.

Employees working from home, by occupational group, Q2 2020 1)
 Level 1 (%)Level 2 (%)Level 3 (%)Level 4 (%)
Business and administration19.835.641.2
Public administration, security and justice10.533.640.8
Creative and linguistic37.1
Care and welfare61627.7
Service providing3.73.9
Transport and logistics1.11.6
If numbers are too low to be representative, they are not displayed.

Lower level work barely offers options to work from home

It goes without saying that the amount of work being done from home strongly depends on the available options. The most recent figures on this subject date from 2019. Last year, occupational skill levels 1 and 2 had no or only minimal possibilities of working from home; at these levels, 4 and 16 percent of the workers respectively said they had such an option. For example, occupations such as carpenter, plumber, service provider (hairdresser, cleaner, bartender etc.) as well as in transport and logistics (e.g. drivers, loaders, unloaders but also shelf stackers). In 2019, over half of all employees in the Netherlands were positioned at level 1 or 2. At the top level (4), over 7 in 10 workers indicated they had the option to work from home. Relatively limited options are available to care workers at higher skill levels as well.

More work done from home

In Q2 2020, there were altogether 7.4 million employees, of whom 6.5 million were at work. The others did have paid work, but were not at work because they were either on holiday, on sick leave, or unable to work due to the measures against coronavirus. 1 in 5 employees at work indicated that they had performed (some) activities at home in the preceding week. Previously, this share ranged between 10 and 15 percent. On average, they were performing 23 hours of work at home out of their regular working hours (34 per week on average). This included 19 paid working hours.

Previously, CBS never published data on the number of hours worked from home in a similar manner. In the past, working from home surveys were based on the question whether the employee was a regular or an occasional teleworker. In 2019, this applied to 34 percent of all employees and to 65 percent of all self-employed.