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32.8% of Greek employees could work from home, says report

32.8% of employees in Greece could work from home, a report by the Centre of Planning & Economic Research (KEPE) said on Monday.The report uses data from 2019 and makes use of the occasion of the lockdown experience due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the report, 1,263,000 workers in the country would work from home. This is slightly below but close to the European average,.

“Nearly 3 out of 4 professional office workers, senior executives and managers could work from home,” the report notes.

Of 556,000 professionals who could work at home, 46% are teachers, 20% are business professionals and 15% are engineers and lawyers. 

The highest percentage of those who could work from home are salaried employees, at 38.3%, followed by self-employed (employers) with employees with 32.4%.

In contrast, self-employed people without employees show a low percentage (18.9%), which is related to the fact that in Greece many self-employed people are farmers, craftsmen, repairers, whose work requires them to be away from home.

Civil servants have a higher ability to work from home (34.6%-68.2% depending on the type of public enterprise), compared to private sector employees (27%).

This is largely due to the education professions, which represent a very large number of civil servants, and in theory they could work from home, as well as professions that require the use of computers.

In contrast, self-employed freelancers without staff find it hard to work at home, as the classification includes farmers, craftsmen, and repairmen.

Part-time workers have a lower rate (25.5%) than full-time workers (33.6%), as a result of their profession in agriculture and retail stores.

It is also noteworthy that work at home is more easily achieved in production units with more than 10 employees (42.8%) than in smaller units (27.5%).

Teleworking is higher for women (40.2%) than for men (27.3%)

Regarding the age range, age group 30-59 is the one with the highest opportunity and/or ability to work at home.

Younger (up to 29 years old) and older (over 60) are less likely to work at home.

59.2% of higher education graduates can potentially work with this scheme, while for the lowest level of education (compulsory education, including High School) the corresponding percentage is only 7.2%. High school graduates are estimated to be able to make it at 23.2%.

Industries that produce internationally traded products and services (manufacturing, mining, agriculture, hotels) have lower rates of home-based employment than sectors that focus on the domestic market.

The ability to work from home appears much higher in major urban centers and differs based on the geographical region.

The highest rates are recorded in the Attica Region (41.8%) and in central Macedonia (31.3%). The lowest rates are recorded in eastern Macedonia, Thrace and central Greece (all, 24%).

The report does not evaluate any positive (saving time of transition and return, avoiding travel costs, combination of professional and family life, reduction of environmental burden) but also negative (enhancing the informal nature of work relationship and involvement in professional and domestic activities, difficulty in control) characteristics of work away form the working place.

Full report in Greek here.

PS Some of my friends who worked from home due to the lockdown complained that their working hours were extended until late at night or found it hard to focus due to the presence of family members. Others were so pleased that they decided to proposed to their employers to make work from home permanent. “Annoyed” were those around 30 or younger who missed interaction with co-workers. And some founded hard to make a schedule to regularly come out of home for exercise, shopping or other activities.

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