Productivity Dynamics of Work from Home since the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from a panel of firm surveys

Author Name MORIKAWA Masayuki (President, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. July 2022 22-E-061
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This study documents the adoption, intensity, and productivity of work from home (WFH) practices since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic using panel data from original firm surveys in Japan. According to the results, at the end of 2021, the ratio of WFH-adopting firms and the intensity of WFH decreased substantially compared to when the first state of emergency was declared in 2020. Second, although the mean productivity of WFH improved by a few percentage points, it is still approximately 20% lower than that at the usual workplaces. The firms’ evaluation of remote workers’ productivity at home is similar to the results obtained from a survey of employees engaged in WFH. Third, the majority of firms are planning to discontinue the WFH practice and revert to the conventional workstyle after the end of COVID-19, indicating that there is a large gap between firms’ intentions and the desire of remote workers.

This is the English version of the Japanese Discussion Paper (22-J-005) with some additional information and changes.