UCC study examines what occupations have the potential to carry on working remotely

UCC study examines what occupations have the potential to carry on working remotely

Using occupational data and economic indices, Dr Frank Crowley and Dr Justin Dornan in their study Covid-19, Occupational Social Distancing and Remote Working Potential in Ireland, highlight that a "one size fits all economic policy" approach to the crisis, is unlikely to resolve regional inequalities across Ireland.

Dr Frank Crowley and Dr Justin Dornan in their study, Covid-19, Occupational Social Distancing and Remote Working Potential in Ireland, highlight that a "one size fits all economic policy" approach to the crisis, is unlikely to resolve regional inequalities across Ireland.

Amongst the jobs highlighted as having the least social distancing potential include protective service occupations, such as Gardaí and Firemen, transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives and health professionals.

Secretarial and related occupations, science, research, engineering and technology professionals and customer service occupations were flagged as having the most social distancing potential. 

Examining remote working potential, skilled agriculture and related trades, skilled construction and building trade and transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives were identified as having the least remote working potential whilst teaching and educational professionals, customer service occupations and business, media and public service professionals were found to have the most potential to carry on working remotely.

"We generate two indices which capture the potential impact of Covid-19 through identifying firstly, the occupations which may be most impacted by social distancing procedures and secondly the occupations which have the least scope for remote working. 

RN A map showing remote working potential by county from a study conducted by UCC professors.
RN A map showing remote working potential by county from a study conducted by UCC professors.

"This is accomplished using occupational level data from a global database (O*NET) which provides very detailed information of the tasks performed by individuals with their occupations," commented co-author of the report, Dr Justin Doran, Economist and Co-Director of the Spatial and Regional Economics Research Centre (SRERC) at Cork University Business School.

The report also found that the potential for social distancing and remote work favours occupations located in the Greater Dublin region and provincial city regions. 

At a town level – more affluent, larger, more densely populated, better educated and better broadband provisioned towns have more occupations with greater potential to adhere to social distancing measures and greater potential for remote working.

"A one size fits all policy approach to the crisis, is unlikely to resolve regional inequalities," explained Dr Frank Crowley, Economist and Co-Director of SRERC at Cork University Business School.

"The Irish government needs to consider carefully how local and regional policy settings could be redesigned in order to better accommodate the impacts of increased social distancing and remote working on society over the short term and how it can help deeply affected workers and businesses recover in the medium to longer term," he added. 

More in this section

Sponsored Content