Cifras INE

Teleworking in Spain and the EU prior to COVID-19

Imagen portada Teletrabajo

Due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the declaration of the alert state period, the conditions in which many companies and workers carry out their work have suddenly changed. Prominent among these are the people who now perform their work-related duties from home in what is commonly known as remote work.

While at present we have no information on the population in this situation, data is provided here that can help to understand the magnitude of the change. The most recent data on this phenomenon come from the variables of the subsample of the Economically Active Population Survey, 2019.

Source: Eurostat, Economically Active Population Survey. EPA, Survey on equipment and use of ICT in households and Survey on ICT and electronic commerce use in companies/a>.

Subir Teleworking in Spain and the EU

Teleworking in Spain: Moderate upward trend in 2019

According to the Economically Active Population Survey, the moderate upward trend of people working from home continued in 2019. This for both those that do it normally (or more than half of working days), which has gone from 4.3% to 4.8%, and those that did it occasionally, which has increased from 3.2% to 3,5%.

Map image



The proportion of employed persons who normally work from home is highest in Principado de Asturias (6.6%), Illes Balears (5.8%) and Galicia (5.5%). It is lower in Región de Murcia (4.0%), Comunidad Foral de Navarra (3.9%) and La Rioja (3.6%).


Map image



In terms of occasional work from home, the figure is higher in the autonomous city of Ceuta (6.6%), Illes Balears(5.0%) and Aragón (4.9%). It is lower in Cantabria (2.5%), La Rioja (2.4%) and the Canarias (2.2%).

Regions with more remote female workers

While the percentage of employed males who work from home is higher than that of employed females (4.9% vs. 4.7%, on a regular basis, and 4.0% vs. 2.9%, occasional), in some regions the percentage of women exceeds that of men. Specifically, in the Principado deAsturias, the females who work from home more than half of their working days make up 7.1% of the total. And in the autonomous city of Ceuta, females who occasionally work from home make up 8.0%.

Fewer teleworkers than in neighbouring countries

The percentage of employed people who normally work from home in the European Union is higher than Spain in many countries. The Netherlands (14.0%), Finland (13.3%) and Luxembourg (11.0%) stand out in this regard. Self-employed workers represent 46.4% of the total in Finland, 44.5% in the Netherlands and 43.6% in Austria. All of these percentages are much higher than in Spain, which barely exceeds 15%.

In almost all countries, more women than men regularly work from home. In the Eurozone, the percentage is 6.1% for women compared to 5.5% for men.

Graphic image

Graphic image



If we look at the evolution of those who have occasionally worked from home, we see that, in Spain, this percentage has increased in recent years, moving from 2.5% of those employed in 2009 to 3.2% in 2018. However, it always remains below the average for the EU (which has gone from 7.8% to 9.9%) and the Eurozone (from 5.8% to 8.2%).

The older the person, the more likely that they work from home

A common trend observed in all countries is that the percentage of those employed remotely increases as age increases. In the case of Spain, in people between 15 and 24 years old, those who work from home represent only 1.8% of the total; between 25 and 54, the figure rises to 7.7%; and among those 55 and over it stands at 8.4%.

In households with couples with children, remote work is more common

Based on the type of household, households made up of an adult living with a partner with children registered the highest percentage of workers from home (9.3%), followed by those made up of an adult with children (8.5%), couples without children (8.3%) and an adult without children (8.1%). The pattern is similar among household types within the Eurozone, although always with higher values. On average, compared with Spain, almost twice as many households have an employed person who works from home.

Table image

Subir Companies that provide a mobile internet connection to their employees

75.2% of companies with 10 or more employees that have an Internet connection give their employees portable devices that provide a mobile Internet connection for business use. On average, 30.0% of the employees at these companies are beneficiaries of these devices. Among companies in the ICT sector, this percentage reaches 62.7%, while in Information and communications it stands at 58.4%, and in Professional, scientific and technical activities, 48.4%.Graphic image

Table image



Among the companies with less than 10 employees, those in the Services sector are the ones that are most likely to provide these devices to their employees for business use (53.9% of the total) and those that also have a higher percentage of employees who use them for these purposes (35.3%).

Subir Use of technology in households

Much of this work from home is done with the help of new technologies.


In Spain, 80.9% of households with at least one member aged 16-74 years old had some type of computer (desktop, laptop, tablet...) in 2019. In addition, 91.4% of households have internet access, compared to 86.4% the previous year, and of these, almost all (99.7%, 15 million households) have broadband internet access. (fiber optic or cable network, ADSL, 3G or 4G mobile telephony ...).

Graphic image

The households that do not have Internet indicate the following as the primary reasons for this situation: because they do not need the internet (75.5%), due to lack of knowledge of how to use it (51.3%) and due to the high costs equipment costs (28.0%).

Graphic image


Regarding the use of these technological resources, last year daily Internet use reached 77.6% of the population aged 16 to 74. 46.9% of these people made some kind of Internet purchase in the past three months. The increase compared to 2010 has been significant, when daily Internet use was 43.6% and the proportion of online shoppers in the last three months was 17.0%.

© INE 2021  www.ine.es   Aviso Legal  Avda. Manoteras, 52 - 28050 - Madrid - España
NIPO NIPO 096-20-010-0  ISSN 2255-162X  Catálogo de publicaciones de la Administración General del Estado: http://publicacionesoficiales.boe.es    Fotografías: Fotolia.com