Dont Stand So Close to Me: '... Not all jobs involve regular interaction with others, and some jobs might be more secure during a pandemic.'.

Author:Medina, Brandon

IN THE WAXE of the novel coronavirus, social distancing measures have been put into place nationwide in order to slow the spread of the illness. As part of this initiative, most '"nonessential" businesses have closed temporarily and many other companies have switched to remote work. Not surprisingly, many jobs requiring frequent interaction with others temporarily have been eliminated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), customer-facing industries such as leisure, hospitality, and retail trade have been particularly hard hit.

However, not all jobs involve regular interaction with others, and some jobs might be more secure during a pandemic. Occupational data from BLS shows that 41 % of jobs in the country require frequent or constant communication with coworkers or customers. The remaining 59% require occasional communication or less--and 12.9% of jobs require no verbal communication at all.

To find which jobs require the least interaction with others, researchers at Construction Coverage, a review site for construction software and insurance, analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Requirements Survey and Occupational Employment Statistics. To determine the final ranking, Construction Coverage calculated the proportion of jobs requiring no communication, seldom communication, and occasional communication within each occupation.

The jobs requiring the least interaction with others represent a variety of industries, such as financial services, maintenance and repair, and trucking. These jobs also have significant variations in salary--from S25.860 annually for driver/sales workers to S87,060 per year for civil engineers. By comparison, the median annual wage for American workers in 2019 was $39,810.

It is important to note that this study looks at the frequency of verbal communication as an indicator of physical interaction with others. While in many cases physical and verbal communication in the workplace are tightly coupled, there are certain settings where this is not the case. For example, there are jobs that require constant communication, such as customer service representatives, which might easily be done remotely. On the other hand, there are certain jobs that require little verbal communication, such as maintenance and repair workers, which might require working in tight spaces or in close proximity to a fellow employee. That said, compared to the average worker in some of the nation's largest sectors--such as retail trade, health care, education, leisure, and hospitality--the jobs listed below will likely be more conducive to social...

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