The World After Covid-19: Remote Working

What does the global working from home experiment mean for the long-term? Morningstar analysts look at the impact on economies, real estate and the oil price

Preston Caldwell 24 September, 2020 | 10:08AM

Remote working Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced an unprecedented experiment with working from home. We estimate 45% of US workers were working from home at the 2020 pandemic peak. However, we shouldn't assume that working from home will be the new normal, as history presents many episodes of disruptions on the scale of Covid-19 in which things eventually returned to the old normal.

Although we expect a solid boost to work-from-home adoption thanks to the pandemic, we think most workers will return to the office. We project that 13% of US workers will be working from home full time in 2025, up from 9% in 2019. This is a faster rate of growth than working from home has seen in the last decade. We think hybrid working from home (which is preferred by more workers) will see slightly greater uptake. Working from home isn't for everyone. It requires the right occupation, permission from the employer, and ultimately choice of the worker. Only 13% of the US workforce will clear all three of these hurdles.

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About Author

Preston Caldwell  is equity analyst at Morningstar.

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