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Why Working From Home Will Stick

Author

Listed:
  • Barrero, Jose Maria

    (Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico)

  • Bloom, Nick
  • Davis, Steven J.

Abstract

We survey 15,000 Americans over several waves to investigate whether, how, and why working from home will stick after COVID-19. The pandemic drove a mass social experiment in which half of all paid hours were provided from home between May and October 2020. Our survey evidence says that 22 percent of all full work days will be supplied from home after the pandemic ends, compared with just 5 percent before. We provide evidence on five mechanisms behind this persistent shift to working from home: diminished stigma, better-than-expected experiences working from home, investments in physical and human capital enabling working from home, reluctance to return to pre-pandemic activities, and innovation supporting working from home. We also examine some implications of a persistent shift in working arrangements: First, high-income workers, especially, will enjoy the perks of working from home. Second, we forecast that the post-pandemic shift to working from home will lower worker spending in major city centers by 5 to 10 percent. Third, many workers report being more productive at home than on business premises, so post-pandemic work from home plans offer the potential to raise productivity as much as 2.4 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrero, Jose Maria & Bloom, Nick & Davis, Steven J., 2020. "Why Working From Home Will Stick," SocArXiv wfdbe, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:wfdbe
    DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/wfdbe
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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