ISB initiates new research to find out lockdown affects on occupations, Industries in India
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ISB initiates new research to find out lockdown affects on occupations, Industries in India

Agency News

Hyderabad, Apr 8 : With a government-imposed lockdown in place to tackle with the COVID-19 pandemic, most professionals are relegated to work from home.

To study and understand the situation, the Indian School of Business (ISB) has initiated new research to find out how this lockdown affects occupations, industries and the different districts of India. And finally, but most importantly, to assesses the potential economic impacts of this virus-induced lockdown.

This research uses a 2019 survey of 3,000 workers to measure the impact of the lockdown on over 100 occupations as defined in the National Classification of Occupations (NCO) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, and assigned a Work from Home Index (WFI) to each occupation. A ‘Human Proximity Index’ (PI) is also assigned to each one of these occupations, a ISB statement said here on Wednesday.

With these two indices lined up perpendicular to each other, the occupations were classified into four quadrants -- low work from home and high human proximity, low work from home and low human proximity, high work from home and high human proximity and high work from home and low human proximity.

For the WFI, a survey comprising six questions was developed by the Researchers to assess if physical proximity, on-site presence or working with teams were vital to do the job. The researchers found that the two indices had a significant negative correlation with each other. The results were reasonably intuitive, like in the cases of drivers, housemaids, nurses, etc. displayed low work from home potential.

While classifying sectors, computer programming along with some others were found to have high work from home potential. In contrast, those like agriculture, wholesale or retail trade and collaborative manufacturing had a lower potential for work from home. A few sectors, like textiles and occupations like restaurant services, were found to have little human proximity and low potential for work from home by the study.

Some unintuitive findings also came from the study. Most jobs which have a high work from home potential and high human proximity, for example, middle school teaching associates, were found to be highly susceptible to automation, owing to their high work from home potential.

“Though we see very few occupations in this quadrant, this might well be the time when a lot of occupations move to this quadrant of high work from home potential and high human proximity,” said Professor Deepa Mani, co-researcher of this study and Executive Director of the ISB Research Centre Srini Raju Centre for IT and the Networked Economy (SRITNE). (UNI)

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