Based on survey responses from more than 1,700 managers in Germany, this study elicits employers’ perceptions of working from home during COVID-19 and their long-term expectations for the time after the pandemic. Based on employers’ forecasts of the share of employees working from home post-COVID, the within-firm intensity of the expected shift is quantified. Many firms expect a persistent shift towards working from home induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Larger firms and firms with pre-COVID use of working from home are most likely to expect a persistent and intensive shift. As the empirical results indicate, underlying mechanisms for the expected shift might include learning effects facilitating an improved perception of working from home, investments in physical and human capital, a general push in firms’ digital progress, and the fact that most firms do not observe a reduction in productivity due to working from home during COVID-19.

Keywords

COVID-19, working from home, digitalisation, firm-level, managers, survey