Employees enjoy working from home, but miss socialising at the office
According to research conducted by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), 35 percent of workers in the Netherlands worked entirely from home in March 2021, and while many of them said they’d prefer to continue working from home post-pandemic, they miss the social interaction and cooperation that working in an office environment provides.
Employees feel more productive at home, but miss socialising
The coronavirus pandemic has undeniably changed the way we work for good. After a year of working from home, many employees aren’t keen to go back into the office full-time, with TNO’s research finding that a quarter of workers would like to continue to work remotely most of or all of the time in the future. The NEA-COVID-19 study found that, on average, people would like to spend 18 hours a week working from home.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main push for returning to the office involves the act of socialising and collaborating with colleagues. Many workers feel they are able to concentrate more at home and get more work done, but miss interacting with their colleagues on a regular basis.
Interestingly, almost 40 percent of workers under the age of 30 also felt that, by continuing to work from home full-time, they would miss out on opportunities to progress their career as they feel as though they are not sufficiently visible as a part of the team. Another popular reason for returning to the workplace is improving work-life balance, specifically among those under the age of 50.
16 percent of respondents fear contracting COVID-19 at work
For the 65 percent of workers who worked either entirely or partially at the office in March, many stated they did so because they could not do their job when working from home. However, many still acknowledge that they couldn’t always adhere to the coronavirus rules when at work and feared becoming sick.
80 percent of survey respondents who worked at least part-time at an office in March indicated that the coronavirus measures were often or always complied with, but a third stated it was difficult to maintain distance between colleagues, and half said it was difficult to maintain distance between them and their customers, students or patients. 16 percent of workers said they feared contracting COVID-19 when at work, and the fear is most prevalent among teaching staff.
Read more about TNO's research here.