A total of 95,800 people work remotely in the Canary Islands, which places the archipelago as one of the eight autonomous regions where the number of remote workers has had a positive trend in the last quarter of last year (+2.9%), according to a new issue of the Adecco Monitor of Employment Opportunities and Satisfaction.
As the group of non-remote workers has grown faster, the weight in total employment of those who work occasionally from home has fallen in the Islands to 9.9%, which is 1.2 points less than a year ago. Nevertheless, it is still a significantly higher percentage than in 2019, before the pandemic, when it was 6.2% and the second lowest in Spain (there are now eight regions with a lower proportion of teleworkers than the Canary Islands).
At national level, the number of remote workers in Spain has now fallen for seven consecutive quarters in the year-on-year comparison. In the fourth quarter of 2022, 2.56 million people were counted as working at least occasionally from home, a figure that is 6.5% lower than a year earlier.
The share of remote workers in the total number of employed, taking the four-quarter moving average as a reference, has fallen by 1.7 percentage points in the year-on-year comparison, to 12.7% in our country. This is the lowest figure since June 2020.
Before the pandemic, the number of remote workers in Spain was 1.64 million. That figure more than doubled, reaching a peak of 3.55 million in the second quarter of 2020 (the quarter of home confinement). That there are now 2.56 million people who work at least occasionally from home means that about half of the teleworkers who emerged from the pandemic returned to working exclusively face-to-face.
The same can be seen through the proportion of remote workers in the total number of employed: the current 12.7% is halfway between the 8.3% at the end of 2019 and the peak of 16.2% in the first quarter of 2021 (remember that we work with the moving average of 4 quarters, which is why the peak in the second quarter of 2020 exerts its influence until three quarters later).
Although the Community of Madrid is home to 15.6% of the total number of remote workers, it has 23.8% of all remote workers in the country. Catalonia, with 17.2% of the employed in Spain, has 19.3% of all remote workers. Thus, between the two autonomous regions, they have 32.8% of all employed people, but account for 43.1% of all teleworkers in Spain.
The most significant increases in the number of people working at least occasionally from home are the cases of Cantabria (+32.1%), Navarre (+11.8%) and, to a lesser extent, the Basque Country (+8.4%) and the Region of Murcia (+6.9%).
Nine Autonomous Communities show a year-on-year decrease in the number of remote workers. Extremadura (-29.2% year-on-year), the Balearic Islands (-25.7%) and the Community of Madrid (-14.6%) show the sharpest cuts. The decline in Madrid, which has also seen seven consecutive quarters of falls, suggests that the decline in working remotely may not be over.
In any case, when we look at the four-quarter moving average, even these increases do not prevent 14 regions from showing a year-on-year reduction in their proportion of teleworkers.
Madrid remains the region with the highest development of remote work. Some 20.4% of its employed say that they work at least occasionally from home, a proportion that is 3.9 percentage points lower than a year ago and the biggest fall at regional level. A year ago, there were only two regions where less than 9% of the employed were working remotely. Now there are six regions in this situation.
The lowest percentage is in La Rioja (7.5%, down 1.9 p.p. year-on-year). With 9.9%, the Canary Islands is the ninth region with the highest proportion of remote workers in its employed population.