How to make home office and remote working even more successful
In March everyone collectively relocated to their home offices. Unlike a planned change with an organised timeline, this shift happened spontaneously… and yet it was more successful than people thought it would be: kitting everyone out with the appropriate hardware worked incredibly well in many companies, liaison via video or internet conferencing was successful – and there was a noticeable upsurge in digitalisation. What’s the situation today regarding working from home? Does this model have a future? And how are companies handling it? The answers to these questions are diverse and range from euphoric predictions to more critical appraisals.
According to a report on ZEIT.ONLINE, companies in Germany view the home office less positively than many employees. The report quotes a survey in which it is stated that only 5.7 per cent of companies are noticing an increase in productivity as a result of mobile working. 30.4 per cent of firms identified no change and 27 per cent even reported reduced productivity from their workforce. For some of the companies questioned, for instance those belonging to the construction or service sectors, working from home is completely irrelevant. The results are from a study conducted by the Ifo Institute in Munich in October, for which 1097 companies were questioned.
Employee perspectives show a different picture: according to a study carried out by the University of Constance from March to October 2020, 26 per cent of people questioned said they wanted to work from home two days a week. Many of those employees seem to have developed a taste for it. Around 20 per cent of people in employment could even imagine working from home five days a week. According to the study, employees who returned to the office in summer or autumn having worked from home also complained of higher levels of emotional exhaustion and reduced productivity. However, most people still didn’t want to do away with office-based working completely. One thing workers value particularly about the face-to-face experience is the opportunity to interact directly with colleagues in person. They feel that it’s indispensable for creative work. Home office options, reveals the study, are also attractive to job applicants – partly because they won’t have to waste time commuting to the office. 54 per cent of those surveyed said that whether the employer would allow home working was a high priority when looking for a job.
According to a study by the Fraunhofer IAO almost all companies questioned have in fact increased their use of web or video conferencing, almost 75 per cent held workshops via digital tools. Experience showed the same as the evidence from the studies: having the right hardware and software forms the technical basis for successful home working. For this success to last, it’s also important to have an ergonomic office set-up with height-adjustable desks such as TALO.YOU and comfortable chairs that encourage movement, like K+N NOOK, JET.III or OKAY.III. The study also revealed that a remarkably large number of people, over 90 per cent, agreed with the statement that a good sense of cooperation and a strong work culture provided effective support through crisis phases. The authors believe that this culture-related field is where there is the greatest need for action. Knowing your own work culture – promoting it through strategic efforts and making it a tangible experience – seems to be an important aspect of navigating successfully through this time of transformation. Explore our tool to help you discover your work culture. With the K+N WORK.CULTURE.MAP you can organise your company into seven dimensions including agility, technology, management style and work-life balance. Using the results of this analysis as a basis, you can not only design the perfect working environment, but you will also have insights enabling you to initiate or support change processes. Find out more here.
These sources inspired our news article: