Are remote work options the new standard? Evidence from vacancy postings during the COVID-19 crisis

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Abstract

This study examines how the COVID-19 crisis has changed the willingness of employers to offer teleworking options. We analyze job descriptions from vacancy postings on the largest Austrian job board to classify whether employers offer the option to telework to new hires. Our results show that the crisis has substantially increased the scope for remote work. About one year after the onset of the crisis, employers were 2–3 times as likely to explicitly offer such an option relative to levels before the pandemic. This effect is particularly strong for jobs that require at least a degree from a higher secondary school. Accounting for changes in vacancies by occupations and firms, we find that the impact is neither driven by an increase in the demand for teleworkable occupations nor by an increase in vacancies at teleworking-friendly firms. Although many social distancing restrictions were relaxed again during the summer of 2020, the effect persists throughout the first year of the crisis, suggesting that the pandemic may have long-lasting effects on remote working arrangements. To test the robustness of our results, we merge two external occupation-level teleworking measures to our sample. Both measures are highly correlated with our measure and yield comparable estimates for the impact of the pandemic on vacancies for teleworkable occupations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102179
JournalLabour Economics
Volume76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 502002 Labour economics

Keywords

  • HBE
  • Cat2
  • COVID-19
  • Job postings
  • Teleworking
  • Working from home

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