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Fewer and Fewer Germans Working from Home

Press Release of February 19, 2014

In 2012, almost five million people, or roughly 10 percent of the labor force in Germany, worked from home most or some of the time. Of these home workers, 2.7 million were employees, i.e., eight percent of the labor force. It is primarily highly qualified employees such as managers, academics, lawyers, publicists, engineers, or teachers who work from home; the majority has a university degree. However, there are also a large number of occupations with very few people working from home as the job is largely unsuitable for this mode of work. The discrepancies between men and women or different age groups remain small. In households with children, the mother or father are somewhat more likely to work from home. However, the decisive factor is the occupation itself. At the turn of the millennium, the number of people working from home initially increased, but dropped significantly from 2008 on and has been declining at double-digit rates in almost all professions since then. Yet overall employment in Germany has increased, as has the percentage of employees working from home in the European Union as a whole. Compared with other EU countries, Germany is somewhat below average when it comes to home working; in Scandinavia, and the remaining western and central European states, working from home is far more widespread.