Working from home may not be here to stay just yetTuesday 19 Jan 2021
Since the huge shift to remote working as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been much debate about whether businesses will ever fully return to office-based working. But is remote working here to stay for the long term?
CAGE associate Nico Voigtländer and co-authors Réka Juhász and Mara P. Squicciarini compare the shift from the office to home working in 2020 with the move from home to factory based production during the Industrial Revolution. They find that both transitions faced a similar trade-off: the potential productivity advantage of the new working arrangement (mechanisation in 1800 and ICT advances in 2020) vs organisational barriers (e.g. coordinating workers). They also find that organisational barriers are still present today, meaning that without further technological or organisational innovations, remote working may not be here to stay just yet.