More than 55% of the Luxembourg population went into home office mode during the lockdown period, according to Eurofound
Just over 50% of jobs in Luxembourg are said to be “teleworkable”, according to a study by the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics.
This rate is higher than in other European countries: it is only between 35 and 40% for France and Germany, for example. This can be explained by “its industrial structure, which is predominantly tertiary, with highly qualified workers and its technological level,” says Sarah Mellouet, an economist at the Idea Foundation. The Becker Friedman Institute points out that the number of remotely-operated jobs also increases with GDP. “This rate does not exceed 5% in most developing countries,” confirms Mellouet.
To judge whether or not a job can be done in a home office, the study takes two criteria into account: the context and the activity. “For example, if an occupation requires daily outdoor work or if the driving of vehicles, mechanised appliances or equipment is very important for the performance of that occupation, we determine that it cannot be carried out at home,” she says.
The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics reveals that in the United States, educational services (83%), professional, scientific and technical services (80%), management (79%), finance and insurance (76%), and information (72%) have the highest rates of teleworkable occupations. On the contrary, transport and construction can telework only 19%, retail trade 14%, agriculture 8%, and accommodation and food services 4%.
Such detailed data are not available in Luxembourg. We only know that before the crisis, according to a Statec study, 13.2% of employees used to telework in industry and 19.8% in services.
More generally, a Liser report from last July concludes that teleworkers can be divided into three groups. 90% are “skilled workers” who “have a high degree of autonomy in their work” and “use a high number of ICTs in their jobs”.
This is followed by two minority groups. 7% are “employees working in unskilled occupations, or in contact with customers. Members of this group have moderate autonomy”
The remaining 3% are “employees working in an intermediate profession or as administrative employees. Members of this group work more often than other teleworkers on a part-time basis. They do not have autonomy in their work, and their work pace is more often dictated by a computer system, the work of their colleagues and a volume of work determined by the hierarchy than that of other teleworkers”.
57% telework in Luxembourg during the crisis
The crisis has disrupted these models, as more than 55% of the Luxembourg population has gone into the home office during the period, according to Eurofound. Once again, Luxembourg is breaking records and is in second place among European countries, just behind Finland.
According to a Statec study, the sector with the highest rate of full-time telework is education, at nearly 75%. This is followed by administrative and financial services, other services and public administration. On the other hand, for trade, industry, hotels and restaurants, construction, health and social work, the rate does not exceed 40%.
Will the sectors which have been obliged to telework continue to do so? Mellouet analyses: “Paradoxically, during the lockdown, employees in finance were among the most numerous to telework.” Yet, according to the Liser study, they were also the least likely to have their company's consent to do home office work. “This result can be explained by the strict data security rules that govern this sector.” Will the crisis have lifted the barriers for them? Mellouet was not ready to make any projections about teleworking in the aftermath of the crisis.