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COVID-19 and Remote Work: An Early Look at US Data

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Listed:
  • Erik Brynjolfsson
  • John J. Horton
  • Adam Ozimek
  • Daniel Rock
  • Garima Sharma
  • Hong-Yi TuYe

Abstract

We report the results of a nationally-representative sample of the US population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey ran in two waves from April 1-5, 2020 and May 2-8, 2020. Of those employed pre-COVID-19, we find that about half are now working from home, including 35.2% who report they were commuting and recently switched to working from home. In addition, 10.1% report being laid-off or furloughed since the start of COVID-19. There is a strong negative relationship between the fraction in a state still commuting to work and the fraction working from home. We find that the share of people switching to remote work can be predicted by the incidence of COVID-19 and that younger people were more likely to switch to remote work. Furthermore, states with a higher share of employment in information work including management, professional and related occupations were more likely to shift toward working from home and had fewer people laid off or furloughed. We find no substantial change in results between the two waves, suggesting that most changes to remote work manifested by early April.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Brynjolfsson & John J. Horton & Adam Ozimek & Daniel Rock & Garima Sharma & Hong-Yi TuYe, 2020. "COVID-19 and Remote Work: An Early Look at US Data," NBER Working Papers 27344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27344
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    2. Erik Brynjolfsson & Avinash Collis & Felix Eggers, 2019. "Using massive online choice experiments to measure changes in well-being," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116(15), pages 7250-7255, April.
    3. Santoso, Lie Philip & Stein, Robert & Stevenson, Randy, 2016. "Survey Experiments with Google Consumer Surveys: Promise and Pitfalls for Academic Research in Social Science," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 356-373, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • M15 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - IT Management
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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