Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Working from home: The future of business is remote

Most Latin companies plan on embracing fully remote work after COVID

And more firms are open to the hybrid format in a post-pandemic scenario, according to research by VC firm Atlantico.

A majority of companies that shifted to remote work in Latin America are planning to stick to the format in a post-COVID-19 pandemic scenario. That's according to a new study carried out by venture capital firm Atlantico with decision-makers and HR leaders in 524 firms in the region. 

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Some 64% of Latin firms will continue to operate on a remote basis after the pandemic, according to Atlantico's report titled Digital Transformation in Latin America. This is a change from the 9% of companies that implemented the format prior to the pandemic.

Prior to the emergence of the crisis, 69% of the companies operated mostly out of physical environments, while 25% operated in a hybrid format -- whereby employees split their time between the workplace and working remotely -- and only 9% operated fully remotely.

When employers adapted to the changes brought on in Latin America by the pandemic, they also began to accept hybrid working. According to the study, 31% of companies in the region are operating that way, and only 5% have resumed working fully at the office.

Some 13% of the respondents working in a hybrid format stated they need to work 3-5 times a week from a physical company office, while 21% have to come in 1-2 times a week. Only 4% of those polled said they were not working remotely since the emergence of COVID-19.

Within those operating remotely, 40% stated they only need to attend some external meetings and conferences in person, while 22% said they need to come into the office only a few times a month.

Remote working was not possible for the vast majority of the workforce in Brazil, the largest Latin American economy, according to a separate study on the uptake of the home office format across the country in 2020. The research carried out by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) published in September noted that 74 million people were employed in Brazil in 2020, of which 8.2 million (11%) in total worked remotely.

Another report, published in March 2021, suggests that remote working was not a reality for the majority of the lower middle class and working-class poor population in Brazil. Only 17.5% of the Brazilians from those socioeconomic segments who maintained their jobs over a year-long period have claimed to be able to work from home through the crisis.