Productivity of Working from Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Overview from a Firm Survey

         
Author Name MORIKAWA Masayuki (President, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. October 2020 20-J-041
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Abstract

Using data from an original firm survey, this study examines the prevalence, frequency, and productivity of working from home (WFH) practices during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. The results reveal that about half of the firm that responded to the survey adopted WFH practices. The mean WFH intensity, or the contribution of WFH to total labor input, was about 23% among firms that adopted WFH practices. The mean WFH productivity relative to working at the usual workplace was about 68%. However, there are large dispersions in both WFH intensity and WFH productivity. About half of the firms that adopted WFH practices plan to continue utilizing WFH practices after the end of the pandemic. Those firms are active in WFH-related investments. The results obtained from the firm survey are generally consistent with the observation from employee survey.