'Working' Remotely? Selection, Treatment, and Market Provision of Remote Work

· Harvard University · Emma Harrington, Natalia Emanuel

We find remote work improves individual productivity but worsens worker selection. Calls per hour rose sharply by 7% when individuals switched to remote work in 2018 and 2019. Similarly, when the entire on-site workforce went remote after Covid-19, the productivity of formerly on-site workers rose by 8-10% relative to their already remote peers. Nevertheless, remote workers answered 10% fewer calls per hour than on-site workers before the pandemic and consequently earned 6% lower wages.

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