What’s Next for Remote Work: An Analysis of 2,000 Tasks, 800 Jobs, and Nine Countries | McKinsey

Workforce Trends

Now that the pandemic has broken through the cultural and technological barriers that have prevented or limited the adoption of remote work (RW) in the past, many firms continue to evaluate the benefits and limitations of RW moving forward. This in-depth article helps firms make these decisions by looking at RW’s potential more granularly through the lens of tasks and activities that can be performed remotely and without a loss of productivity. The analysis also breaks down RW potential by sector. For example, the analysis found that RW potential is concentrated in a few sectors, such as Finance and Insurance, that have three-quarters of time spent on activities that can be done remotely without losing productivity. The study also found that RW potential varies across countries and economies–where labor forces in advanced economies (e.g., US, UK, Germany) have more RW potential than emerging economies (e.g., China, India, Mexico). Overall, more than half of the workforce has little or no opportunity for RW. The article represents the multi-faceted and complex factors that firms must consider when making decisions on remote work.

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