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work from home concept

Work from home experiences: Findings from a multinational survey

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Covid-19 has contributed to a larger number of individuals working from home than ever before. Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark were interested in the experiences of individuals working from home across several European countries. They surveyed over 4,640 employees (mainly knowledge workers and managers) between March and May of 2020. The authors are still analyzing the large amounts of data that were collected, but initial findings were shared. Interesting results included:

• 71% of the respondents said they get enough information from their organization to feel well prepared to work at home during the crisis. This means 29% of individuals still need more from their employers.
• 38% of the respondents agree or strongly agree that work is more demanding than usual, whereas 36% disagree or strongly disagree. This means that job demands are shifting across the workforce — almost the same number of individuals are experiencing more demands as individuals experiencing less demands.

Participants were also asked about advantages and disadvantages of working from home. Responses were analyzed and categorized into three main clusters for each:

Advantages

• Benefits of home-based workplace (e.g., enjoy home atmosphere more, save commute time)
• Work with more efficiency (e.g., less time in meetings, more time to focus on work)
• Control over workday (e.g., can take food breaks when desired, no one looking over them)

Disadvantages

• Isolation (e.g., miss getting out of the house)
• Loss the value of work (e.g., don’t know what kind of work to do, afraid there is not enough work from home)
• Loss of important work tools (e.g., need physical equipment or data)

A great deal can be learned from the past few months in our unprecedented “work from home experiment”. Although there have been some growing pains and many organizations need assistance with transitioning to a more successful flex work model, most individuals agree virtual work is convenient and would like to sustain some degree of virtual work once Covid-19 is under control.

At Propulo Consulting, we partner with you to improve the world of work. Our team has the expertise to help you implement a sensible Flex Work strategy without pain. We work with you to ensure your company culture and processes develop accordingly during or after a Flex Work transition so you can continue to deliver results for your organization and customers. Please visit our website for the latest insights and research into flexible work.

Reference

Ipsen, C., Kirchner, K., & Hansen, J. P. (2020). Experiences of working from home in times of covid-19 International survey conducted the first months of the national lockdowns March-May, 2020. DOI: 10.11581/dtu:00000085

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