Popularity of working from home falls in Spain

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Popularity of working from home falls in Spain
Germany isn't known for its digital access. Photo: Pixabay.

A recent study has revealed that working from home, or 'teletrabajo' as it's known in Spanish, has been steadily falling since the pandemic and that Spain lags behind other countries in terms of popularity.


A recent study by Spain's Observatorio Nacional de Tecnología y Sociedad (ONTSI), has revealed that working from home (teletrabajo) is falling in popularity in Spain, and that the country as a whole lags behind other European countries.

The report, which you can read here, concludes that teletrabajo steadily reduced in 2022, albeit with a slight rebound in the last quarter. Taking into account 2021 and 2022, it has fallen from 13.6 percent of the workforce (around 2,742,000 people) to 12.5 percent (2,563,000 people) and has done so for both men and women.

READ ALSO: Working from home: What we know about Spain’s new 'teletrabajo' decree

Currently, 12.6 percent of women (1,191,000 workers) work remotely compared to 12.5 percent of men (1,372,000 workers).

In terms of regular remote working, something the study considers to be half of your total working days, the number has fallen from 7.9 percent to 6.4 percent. However occasional remote working, in other words, less than half of your working days, has increased from 5.7 percent to 6.1 percent.



The study also highlighted some interesting demographic differences in the data, and the types of people who are more or less likely to work from home.

Teletrabajo is more widespread in people over 25 years of age in particular, with workers between 35 and 54 years of age being the ones who work remotely the most (13.5 percent).

Around 12 percent of workers over 55 work from home, and 11.9 percent between 25 and 34 years old. Just 6.1 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 24 work remotely.


There're also some interesting regional discrepancies in the data. Madrid tops the list of remote workers, with 19.1 percent of people working from home on an occasional or regular basis. Next is Catalonia with 14.1 percent, and Valencia with 11.9 percent. 

On the other hand, the regions and cities where remote working is least common are Ceuta (5.6 percent), Extremadura (6.8 percent), Melilla (6.9 percent) and Castilla-La Mancha (8.5 percent).

Overall across Spain, the percentage of people working from home has decreased in 12 of the 19 regions and autonomous cities.


Photo: / Encuesta de Población Activa (INE).


In what is probably unsurprising news, the self-employed are far more likely to work from home than other people in Spain. Autónomos, as they are known in Spain, almost triple the number of salaried workers who work remotely. 26.4 percent of people who are self-employed work from home, while for salaried employees the figure is just 10 percent.

Teletrabajo among salaried employees has plummeted in Spain after reaching 17 percent in the second quarter of 2020 as the pandemic raged and companies tried to find alternative working arrangements.


READ ALSO: Self-employed in Spain: What you should know about being 'autónomo'

EU comparison

Interestingly, Spain lags far behind other countries when it comes to working from home. According to the latest data published by Eurostat, in 2021 the European average was 24 percent (of workers working remotely), significantly higher than in Spain and higher even than Madrid, the region where teletrabajo is most popular.

The Netherlands has the highest proportion of remote workers in Europe with 53.8 percent, followed by Sweden (46.2 percent) and Luxembourg (45.1 percent).



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