In the beginning of 2020, the government of The Netherlands suggested work from home whenever possible and that was the case for about 50% of people.
Working remotely had a positive effect on the number of infections and therefore (serious) illnesses. There were fewer physical contacts when traveling to and from work and of course, fewer contacts in the workplace itself.
In addition to the primarily intended effect on the degree of contamination, many side effects became visible, such as significantly less traffic on the roads, hardly any travellers on the trains and considerably more net working hours, to name just a few.
Now 1,5 years later there is a lot of information available about other effects of working remotely:
- At the same time many have clearly noticed the benefits of working from home.
- Recent research shows that remote work results in higher productivity, increased quality of work, lower absenteeism due to illness, savings on travel time as well as travel costs.
- Employees are happier and more motivated.
- It also appears to have a positive effect on the company’s image
- 55% of employees believe the advantages of remote work are important.
- However, the personal contacts were certainly missed.
- People want and need to be in contact with colleagues at work.
- Managers had to adapt their leadership style.
Recent research shows that 60% of employers have made agreements with their employees to work from home part time, meaning 40% working remotely and 60% of being in the company’s office.
Employers have realized that the combination of working from home and in the office can have a positive impact on the companies’ facilities as well as on the costs.
The parties have made financial agreements, regarding the savings of the transport cost and about extra costs that occur by working remotely. Travel allowance and working from home allowance are now combined.
Recent research by Colliers International, a major player in the office market, indicates that offices will be used differently in the near future. Partial working from home has been called a permanent game-changer. People go to the office to be with and work with colleagues, whereas they work from home to focus on projects and on the activities that can be performed as an individual. This so-called hybrid work, is expected to be permanent, where possible.
To name an example:
DSM, a Dutch based multinational company, has recently announced that it would leave its original headquarters. A new office environment has been found in a historic location. About 700 people work at the present head office, but only 400 workplaces (for 700 employees) will be available in the new building. The management announced that the office will be a modern, inspiring, clubhouse-like – a hybrid workplace!
Hybrid working will become the new normal!
Jos van Bree, CFR Global Executive Search The Netherlands
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