ECONOMY

Only one in five can work from home

Only one in five can work from home

Ten out of the 20 professions with the highest employment in Greece have option for working remotely, which is related to the particularly low level of digital transformation in Greek companies. In an analysis, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) highlights that only 18.8% of Greek employees can work from home (WFH), as the pandemic has revealed.

The health restrictions forced enterprises in Greece and abroad to adopt teleworking solutions, SEV notes. Therefore in 2020 the WFH rate in Greece amounted to just 7%, against a European Union average of 12%, according to Eurostat. That has placed Greece 19th among the 27 member-states. Still, Greece recorded major progress from the rate of 1.9% in 2019.

While working remotely has soared during the pandemic, SEV’s scientists estimate that teleworking’s real potential is far greater and goes hand-in-hand with the digital transformation of enterprises. Many corporations are already assessing the possibilities of a post-pandemic transition to a hybrid model, combining teleworking and commuting to the workplace.

A Joint Research Center study, combined with Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data on employment for 2019, showed that, out of the 3,911,031 workers in Greece, only 734,667, or 18.8%, are employed in professions with a full capacity for teleworking, such as office workers, financial sector professionals etc.

Double that rate, 38.8%, or 1,517,643 workers, have a partial capacity for remote work, such as engineers, sales assistants etc, while another 1,658,721 (or 42.4%) are employed in professionals with no chance of teleworking at all. They are vehicle drivers, machinery users etc.

The low level of digital transformation in companies partly explains why only half of the top 20 professions in Greece can accommodate teleworking. Consequently access to technologies and the modernization of work could greatly increase the rate of workers in Greece who can work remotely.

SEV also referred to the relevant regulatory framework, highlighting the recent rules introduced, including the coverage of equipment and connectivity expenses. It also stressed that the effective application of teleworking requires reskilling policies for all teleworkers, so that they can sufficiently meet their requirements.