Non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as social distancing, limits on economic activity and the mobility of people, have been introduced as necessary responses to the COVID-19. Workplace interactions are the main source of social contacts of people in the working-age, and constitute an important transmission channel that can drive the spread of the COVID-19. Not all jobs and workers are the same though. Some occupations require more frequent social contacts, higher physical proximity, or even direct contact with infections at work. This makes some workers more exposed to contagion. The ability to work from home emerged as a key job amenity that reduces work-related exposure to contagion, and allows continuing paid work despite the introduction on NPIs. The sudden shift to working from home may change workers’ and firms’ preferences towards working in the office, commuting, working from home, and combining work with care, also in the longer term. It is, therefore, crucial to investigate how work organisation and work behaviour could or should change during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aim of our project is to assess workers’ preferences to work from home, and to evaluate to what extent these preferences depend on occupational exposure to contagion, to what extent on individual and household characteristics. To this aim, we will conduct a discrete choice experiment to estimate workers’ willingness to pay for a job amenity of working from home. It will be combined with a randomized information provision intervention based on informing workers about occupational exposure to contagion. The project will contribute to the understanding of social behavior, especially regarding organization of work and work-related transmission risk, during a pandemic and its aftermath.