News and Views
Social distancing and remote working favours workers in Greater Dublin region and provincial cities - UCC report
Social distancing measures and remote working potential favours occupations located in Dublin and the provincial cities, a University College Cork report has found.
The study - Covid-19, Occupational Social Distancing and Remote Working Potential in Ireland by Dr Frank Crowley and Dr Justin Doran - uses occupational data and economic indices to examine what occupations have the most potential to adhere to social distancing measures and what occupations have the potential to carry on working remotely.
Occupations across Ireland’s economy are examined at sector and regional level within the analysis, with the report stating that a one size fits all economic policy approach to the crisis, is unlikely to resolve regional inequalities across Ireland.
Impacting people differently
The analysis shows a wide variation of social distancing and remote working potential across occupations and within industries.
- Jobs identified to have the least social distancing potential include protective service occupations (Gardai, Fireman etc), transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives and health professionals.
- Jobs identified to have the most social distancing potential include secretarial and related occupations, science, research, engineering and technology professionals and customer service occupations.
- Jobs identified to have the least remote working potential include skilled agriculture and related trades, skilled construction and building trade and transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives.
- Jobs identified to have the most remote working potential include teaching and educational professionals, customer service occupations and business, media and public service professionals.
"We generate two indices which capture the potential impact of Covid-19 through identifying firstly, the occupations which may be most impacted by social distancing procedures and secondly the occupations which have the least scope for remote working. This is accomplished using occupational level data from a global database (O*NET) which provides very detailed information of the tasks performed by individuals with their occupations."
- Dr Justin Doran, Economist and Co-Director of the Spatial and Regional Economics Research Centre (SRERC) at Cork University Business School.
Impacting places differently – Affluent, larger urban areas are advantaged in new economic reality
The report found that the potential for social distancing and remote work favours occupations located in the Greater Dublin region and provincial city regions. At a town level – more affluent, larger, more densely populated, better educated and better broadband provisioned towns have more occupations with greater potential to adhere to social distancing measures and greater potential for remote working.
“Due to occupational and industrial clustering and the associated social distancing and remote working potential required; the economic crisis is likely to play out differently across places. A one size fits all policy approach to the crisis, is unlikely to resolve regional inequalities.The Irish government needs to consider carefully how local and regional policy settings could be redesigned in order to better accommodate the impacts of increased social distancing and remote working on society over the short term and how it can help deeply affected workers and businesses recover in the medium to longer term."
- Dr Frank Crowley, Economist and Co-Director of the Spatial and Regional Economics Research Centre (SRERC) at Cork University Business School.
Dr Frank Crowley & Dr Justin Doran are the co-authors of the report and are Directors of the Spatial and Regional Economics Research Centre (SRERC) at Cork University Business School. SRERC examines Ireland’s city and regional economic development, spatial development and innovation and firm growth.