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Employed people usually working from home, 2021 Employed people usually working from home, 2021

Rise in EU Population Working from Home

During the COVID-19 crisis, a large proportion of employed was faced with changing patterns of work – including working from home. In 2019, approximately one in 20 (5.5 percent) employed people aged 20–64 years in the EU usually worked from home.

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis was apparent as this share more than doubled in 2020 to 12.3 percent (+6.8 percentage points; pp). To a lesser extent, there was a further increase in the share of people usually working from home in 2021, as it reached 13.5 percent (+1.2 pp).

The regional distribution of working from home in 2021 was somewhat skewed, insofar as there were 95 NUTS level 2 regions where this share was above the EU average, compared with 140 regions that recorded lower than average shares. 

In Stockholm, Sweden, two out of every five employed people (40 percent) were usually working from home in 2021. This was the highest share across NUTS level 2 regions, with two more capital regions recording the next highest shares: Eastern and Midland in Ireland (39.3 percent of employed people) and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland (37 percent).

The share of employed people in the EU usually working from home rose by eight percentage points between 2019 and 2021. Perhaps the most striking aspect concerns the rapid increase in the proportion of employed people who were working from home in several capital and urban regions. 

In Eastern and Midland in Ireland and in Stockholm in Sweden, the increases were +33.1 pp and +32.8 pp, respectively. In other words, when comparing the pre-pandemic situation in 2019 with the situation in 2021, the share of employed people usually working from home increased in these two capital regions by an amount that was more than four times as high as the increase for the EU average.