Brazilians like remote work, but want their lives as before the pandemic, says Valor

According to the survey, remote work triggers consecutive changes in habits such as transportation, education an culture

a person working from home
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  • The research reveals strong willingness of Brazilians to change consumption and transport practices, if remote work is maintained;
  • Of the 45% Brazilians who worked remote during the pandemic, 67% defined the experience as “good”.

Valor Econômico ordered a survey from Instituto Travessia to discover what is going to be like working after the Covid-19 pandemic and if there is an effective vaccine, which habits may return to what they were before the pandemic. Basically, Brazilians said they like working from home, but that they want their lives back to what they were.

The survey, which examines what things from the ‘new normal’ will remain in the post-COVID, was held between 23 and 24 July with interviews in five major cities in Brazil: São Paulo, Rio, Porto Alegre, Recife, and Salvador.

In general, the 1,010 interviews reveal a strong willingness of people to change consumption and transport practices, if remote work is maintained. The survey also identified changes in the way Brazilians want to consume entertainment and culture (as 30% adopted streaming services) and the way they deal with education (34% adopted online courses).

According to the survey, remote work triggers consecutive changes in habits. Among respondents, 45% said they worked at home during the pandemic. The percentage represents a limited segment of Brazilians because it is composed of workers with a formal contract, groups that carry out activities in offices or professionals. Of this group, 67% defined the experience of remote work as “good”, compared to 18% who classified it as “bad” and 15% as “indifferent”.

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In addition, 58% said they would like to continue working at home in the post-pandemic, with 56% would adopt remote work full time. For the majority of this group (49%), labor productivity has not changed significantly in the domestic environment. Still, 20% pointed out that it decreased and 31% that it increased.

Most home office enthusiasts are men, notably those who occupy the highest income brackets, above ten minimum monthly wages, according to Valor. Possibly because they have more adequate working conditions in their homes. The segment with the lowest income, which receives up to two minimums per month, was the one that was most aloof to remote work. The most enthusiastic ones with the home office range from 25 to 44 years old.

Can cities change the way they are?

The permanent home office would impact the transport structure in urban centers. The survey shows that, with remote work, 56% of respondents would use public transportation systems less frequently. Thus, 30% would leave aside buses and 26% will not use subways.

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In an interview to Valor, Tomas Alvim, coordinator of Insper’s Architectural Cities Laboratory in São Paulo, said that cities like Paris, Bogotá and Medellín took the pandemic pause on traffic to build cycle paths and sidewalks for pedestrians.

31% of the respondents said they would adopt apps like Uber and 99 in the post-pandemic and another 22% said they would stick to private cars. The bicycle emerged as an alternative for 5% of respondents.

The survey also questioned whether residents of these urban centers would be willing to give up private vehicles, in a scenario of adoption of remote work on a large scale. The majority, 53%, said no, with the richest (with monthly income equal to or greater than ten minimum wages) and the oldest (over 60 years) being hegemonic in this subgroup but 47% stated that they would give up having a car.

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