The events of 2020 have accelerated a shift toward remote work that began well before the COVID-19 pandemic. As new realities and ways of working continue to emerge, we may see an even greater interest in remote work on the parts of both employers and workers. Employers can benefit from this shift by decoupling skills from locations and leveraging data to select talent, allowing organizations to increase the diversity of its workforce while acquiring talent in a cost-efficient manner. Furthermore, employee preferences around remote work and wanting greater flexibility are pointing to a continuance of remote work for the rest of 2020 and beyond.


According to ManpowerGroup’s Q4 2020 Employment Outlook Survey, over half (59%) of employers are planning to offer flexible work options for the long-term, with 20% offering the option to work remotely 100% of the time, whereas 39% plan to support remote work some of the time.

Because remote workforce deployment offers substantial cost savings, it is important to keep the other aspects of the Total Workforce Index™ in mind when it comes to productivity and legislation to determine the viability of certain markets. As the propensity of organizations to focus on cost savings increase – hard decisions must be made with regards to other factors related to availability (e.g. reduced prioritization of educational requirements for jobs and childcare concerns), productivity (e.g. average length of workday/workweek and technical infrastructure), and regulations (e.g. labor allocations/quotas and border restrictions) along with the quality of skills.

As 'return to the workplace' initiatives continue to evolve and regardless of the what the future holds, the Total Workforce IndexTM helps organizations navigate a changing world with real-time actionable data and insights.

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Sources and Disclosures

The primary data sources for this index are all based on statistics from the ministries of labour for each of the markets within scope, the Central Intelligence Agency (U.S.), World Data Bank, Trading Economics, and internal data collected as part of ManpowerGroup global reporting efforts.


This report is intended to provide an overview of general business information relative to global employment conditions and considerations. It should not be interpreted as legal advice. Please consult with legal counsel to ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws.


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