Home office, is it a comfortable Netflix day with a laptop in your lap? A one-day yoga session with three professional pro forma phone calls in between? What was popular prejudice against mobile working before the pandemic sounds like a tired joke from a bygone era today. If you’ve listened to business executives and HR managers over the past year and a half, they kept emphasizing how “amazingly well” the decentralized office was performing.
And indeed: people work at home, and tend to do more than in the office tower. As researchers at Harvard Business School and New York University have found, an average workday in the home office lasts 48.5 minutes longer during the pandemic. The time employees save on the way to the office can quickly be spent longer in front of the PC – in front of the video camera, to be precise. In particular, the number of meetings at head office increased (although virtual meetings didn’t last that long), and employees also wrote an average of an email and a half more. If the hallway radio is gone, all you have to do is type or videoconference.
However, many people can apparently live very well with the new organization of the working day: as surveys by the Trade Union Institute for Economic and Social Sciences (WSI) show, most employees who have worked from home between- time wish they could continue to do so. Sparing traffic jams on the motorway, being able to organize working hours more freely or being able to supervise children in between: employees see them as advantages.
Several studies, including a survey by the digital association Bitkom, have also shown that people who work from home consider themselves more productive. However, you could be wrong with this subjective impression. Because researchers at the Institute for the Future of Work (IZA) discovered it using an analysis tool that measured the work performance of 10,000 test subjects from an IT company Asian with their consent: The employees also delivered the same result to the home office, but they had to devote about 30 percent more time to work. Productivity has declined at home – especially among employees with children who have been repeatedly distracted from work. The advantages and disadvantages are sometimes quite close to each other.