80% of companies has increased the telecommuting since the measures for the pandemic of the coronavirus and their containment measures, according to the Bank of Spain. The central bank believes that 30.6% of jobs in Spain can be carried out through telework, that is to say, 22.3 percentage points more than now and more than six million workers, with a «wide margin for improvement »In the majority of groups, especially in employees with an indefinite contract.

‘Teleworking in Spain’ is an article published this Tuesday by the Bank of Spain in which it is underlined that there is a “wide margin for improvement” in the use of this type of work, which last year was 8.3% of the employed in Spain, according to the EPA, especially among people between 35 and 65 years old and workers with university training.

Teleworking could be occasional, not necessarily definitive, but alternate with face-to-face work

The organization, after carrying out an analysis of the intrinsic characteristics of each occupation, estimates that 30.6% of those employed could telework, at least occasionally, going from the 1.64 million employees currently teleworking to more than six million; yes, with a “asymmetric” potential increase, since not all workers will be able to take advantage of it, since those with a lower educational level have difficulties to benefit from this type of work.

It also stresses that this way of working poses some challenges (distribution of the investments that must be faced between company and worker or adaptation of the time protocols, workplace conditions, safety and accidents) that will require “well-structured” regulation, and entails an investment in equipment, software and training of workers.

The undefined more

By labor characteristics, employees with an indefinite contract would be those who would have the most margin to increase their telework potential, up to 30.7%, compared to 4.6% observed; temporary employees up to 22.5%, compared to 3.1% today and the self-employed to a greater extent, up to 41.2%, compared to 30.2% today.

By size of the company, the groups of people employed with telework in companies of more than 50 workers they are the ones that could most increase the part of the work they carry out remotely, going from the current 7.3% to 34.3%. In turn, companies with 250 or more workers They could increase teleworking from the current 4.4% to 31.7% and those of between 1 and 50 workers, from 9.8% to 29.9%.

Qualified employment

By type of work, the qualified activities – currently carried out by around 80% of the total number of employed persons who carry out part of their work remotely – are those that also present the greatest margin for improvement. Specifically, teleworking workers in the occupations of technical and support professionals and those of accounting, administrative and other office employees could increase their participation in the total number of employees of each of these by more than 40 percentage points. occupations, up to 53.2% and 45.3%, respectively.

Likewise, the occupations included in the categories of directors and managers, and technicians and scientific and intellectual professionals, could increase the percentage of workers with telework by 32 and 37 percentage points, respectively, to 56.2% in the first case and the 58.9% in the second.

On their side, the operators of facilities and machinery, being able to up to 26% telework, as well as restaurant and commerce service workers (17%), who currently practically do not telework, could also make significant progress in this regard and possibly benefit from some change in the business model of their companies.

In contrast, in elementary occupations (which include domestic servants; other cleaning personnel; food preparation aides; urban garbage collectors, street vendors, and other elementary service occupations; agricultural, forestry, and fishing laborers, construction , manufacturing industries and transport), where teleworking also represents a very small percentage, the margin for improvement is «little».

Communication, finance and real estate

Among the sectors of activity that would have the most potential to increase their proportion of teleworkers, there would be some activities that are currently using this type of work more intensively, such as financial and insurance activities (61%); information and communications (67.3%) or real estate activities (64.2%).

Likewise, the analytical article highlights that there are some sectors in which, at present, work from home is almost non-existent and that they would have a very high potential for improvement, such as transport and storage, up to 45.1% ( +42 points); the supply of electrical energy, gas, steam and air conditioning, up to 43.5% (+37 points); the Public Administration, up to 34.3% (+32 points); trade, up to 32.8% (+25 points); other services, up to 29.3% (+22 points); water supply, sanitation activities and waste management, up to 30% (+22 points), and manufacturing, up to 21.6% (+17 points).

On the opposite side there are other sectors where the possibility of teleworking is limited and could rise to low percentages, such as agriculture (8.2%), construction (12.9%), hospitality (13.5%) and the domestic service (9.3%).

University students and those over 65

By age, it is observed that those over 65 years of age would have a high margin for improvement in teleworking, and practically half of this group (43.5%) could go to work in person. On the other hand, those under 24 years of age could increase the use of telework by 20 points, up to 21.5%.

By sex, there is not a big difference between the percentage level that could be reached by men, with 3.25 million (30.3%), compared to the current 8.8%, and women, with 2.78 million (30 , 9%), compared to the current 7.7%.

By educational level, the estimation of the potential number of teleworkers shows that the most qualified group could raise the percentage of people who work from home to 51%, while those with a lower level of education would only rise to 16.7% .

Asturias, Catalonia, Madrid and the Basque Country

Lastly, the differences by Autonomous Community are not great, but they would lead the Community of Madrid, reaching 35.9%, (+28 percentage points); the Basque Country, up to 34.2% (+26 points) and Catalonia, up to 33.5% (+25 points) would be the regions in which the greatest increase in the percentage of employees working since their domicile, next to Asturias, up to 32.1%.

The regions that could achieve a lower percentage of teleworking are the Balearic Islands (26.3%) and Murcia 26.7%, although they all fluctuate in very close percentages: Andalusia (27.5%), Aragón (28.6%), the Canary Islands (27.2%), Cantabria (28.3%), Castilla y León (27.5%), Castilla-La Mancha (27.2%), Valencian Community (29.2%), Extremadura (27.4 %), Galicia (29.5%), Navarra (29.9%), La Rioja (27.6%) and Ceuta and Melilla (30.7%).

In a European comparison, with data from 2018, 13.5% of employed people between 15 and 64 years old worked remotely in the EU-28, according to Eurostat, with the greatest presence in northern countries. Spain was below the European average, with 7.5%, 6 percentage points less than the European average and far from France (20.8%) or Germany (11.6%).