Mind the home working gap, says ONS

Alongside the existing North-South divide and the gender pay gap that we are all familiar with, Covid-19 has seen the emergence of new divide within the UK’s labour market.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), employees in high-paying jobs are more likely to be able to work from home.

Analysis carried out by the ONS reveals that CEOs and senior officials, whose median earnings are £44.08 an hour, are among those most able to work remotely, as are financial managers and directors (£31.38) and programmers and software development professionals (£21.97).

However, for obvious reasons gardeners, whose median hourly earnings are £10.27, are very unlikely to be able to work from home, as are carpenters and joiners (£13.18) and elementary construction occupations such as labourers (£10.25).

The median earnings of employees in the 20% of the workforce most likely to be able to work from home is £19.01, compared with £11.28 for workers in the 20% of workers in jobs least likely to be adaptable to home working.

While the top 20% of workers most likely to be able to work from home are split 51% men: 49% women, three quarters of workers least likely to be able to work from home are men.

The ONS found that while before the pandemic in 2019, 1.7m people reported working mainly from home between 8-12 July a quarter of adults (27%) worked exclusively from home. As lockdown restrictions continued to ease, this was a slight decrease from 30% the week before.

The ONS identified five factors associated with being less able to work from home:

•    whether the job has to be carried out in a specific location
•    amount of face-to-face interaction with others
•    exposure to burns, infections and other hazards
•    whether the job requires physical activity
•    use of tools or protective equipment

• integration of and access to digital communication/technology at home

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), employees in high-paying jobs are more likely to be able to work from home.

Analysis carried out by the ONS reveals that CEOs and senior officials, whose median earnings are £44.08 an hour, are among those most able to work remotely, as are financial managers and directors (£31.38) and programmers and software development professionals (£21.97).

However, for obvious reasons gardeners, whose median hourly earnings are £10.27, are very unlikely to be able to work from home, as are carpenters and joiners (£13.18) and elementary construction occupations such as labourers (£10.25).

The median earnings of employees in the 20% of the workforce most likely to be able to work from home is £19.01, compared with £11.28 for workers in the 20% of workers in jobs least likely to be adaptable to home working.

While the top 20% of workers most likely to be able to work from home are split 51% men: 49% women, three quarters of workers least likely to be able to work from home are men.

The ONS found that while before the pandemic in 2019, 1.7m people reported working mainly from home between 8-12 July a quarter of adults (27%) worked exclusively from home. As lockdown restrictions continued to ease, this was a slight decrease from 30% the week before.

The ONS identified five factors associated with being less able to work from home:

  • whether the job has to be carried out in a specific location
  • amount of face-to-face interaction with others
  • exposure to burns, infections and other hazards
  • whether the job requires physical activity
  • use of tools or protective equipment
  • integration of and access to digital communication/technology at home

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