Companies warn of productivity losses due to home office. Many workers find themselves more productive when they work from home. However: The companies come to completely different assessments.
Companies warn of productivity losses due to home office
A significant number of companies in Germany are much more skeptical of working from home than many employees: Only a small minority of 5.7 percent of companies have so far registered an increase in productivity when working on the move, according to a new survey. In contrast, 30.4 percent of companies reported unchanged, but 27 percent even reported lower productivity in their workforces. The Munich Ifo Institute surveyed 1,097 companies on behalf of the Family Business Foundation in October.
“The explanation for the lower productivity may also lie in the fact that companies are a social place,” said Stefan Heidbreder, managing director of the foundation. “The personal contact between employees creates a dynamic and innovative strength that even video conferences cannot replace.”
Especially small businesses with problems
Because of the corona pandemic, many companies have significantly expanded the scope of “home office” regulations – in order to avoid contamination in the company or on the way to work. The question of whether or not working in the home office increases productivity remains politically highly controversial.
In the summer, the DAK health insurance company surveyed around 7,000 employees – and came to the conclusion that the vast majority (56 percent) consider themselves to be more productive when working from their desks at home. With reference to the DAK study, the SPD argues for example in its demand for a legal anchoring of a “right to work from home”. There are also studies and surveys on the subject from other countries, with contradicting results.
According to the Ifo survey, employers are much more skeptical about productivity, including many smaller companies. Just 2.9 percent of the companies with up to nine employees reported increasing productivity. In the case of companies with more than 250 employees, however, it is eight percent.