The coronavirus epidemic and its impact on the Hungarian economy and society brought about a “breakthrough” in telecommuting in 2020, the State Audit Office (ÁSZ) said on Friday.

Citing Central Statistical Office (KSH) data, ÁSZ said that whereas between 2010 and 2019 only 2.9 percent of employees telecommuted full-time or occasionally, their share within the labor force rose to 17 percent, or around 750,000 people, by May 2020. Following the first wave of the epidemic, the share of telecommuters stabilized at around 7 percent.

The statement said a rise in telecommuting could increase employment among groups disadvantaged by housing conditions or a lack of transport opportunities. It could also diminish the importance of location when it comes to the housing market and ease the strain on transport infrastructure, ÁSZ added.

The office said that a balance between the monitoring of employees working from home and the protection of their private data could result in greater acceptance for telecommuting.

At the same time, ÁSZ also emphasized the importance of devoting special attention to the effect of telecommuting on workers’ mental health, saying that the long-term optimal work model could be a combination of home and office work.


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