According to the report by the Bank of Korea, from the start of the pandemic in the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of last year, the shift to remote work had a positive effect on GDP for 5 quarters straight, meaning it helped cushion the pandemic's impact.
The report attributed the added productivity to less time spent commuting and an increase in autonomy that helped boost work satisfaction.
The number of people working remotely soared to 1.14 million, or about 4.2 percent of all those employed last year.
This is roughly 12 times the number working from home before the pandemic, when the proportion was only about zero.3 percent.
Remote work is still far from the norm for most people, and is found mostly at larger companies and in skilled professions.
But wages for people working from home rose 11.8 percent in 2020 and then 8.2 percent in 2021 a much bigger increase than for those who were in the office.
The report emphasized that countries like South Korea where commutes are longer and IT infrastructure is good have room to improve productivity by expanding the remote work system.
Kim Cheong-ah, Arirang News.