A Third Of Europeans Want Teleworking To Stay After The COVID-19 Crisis



Most professionals on the continent prefer a combination of telecommuting and commuting to the office. Also, the value that in these months their productivity has increased

Okta is a specialist in enterprise identity management solutions. This firm has just published its report The new workplace: re-imagining work after 2020, in which it analyzes the technological and cultural challenges facing European workers. Held between April and May, it was attended by 6,000 people working in offices in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

By forcing millions of people to work from home, the pandemic has pushed the adoption of telecommuting to unprecedented levels. For some, this new way of working has meant a real improvement: fewer commutes, fewer trips, fewer distractions, and a better work-life balance. For the workers, it has also been a real discovery, since many of them (half or more than half in each country) have never had the opportunity to work remotely until now.

Increased productivity at home

Before the pandemic, a third of UK respondents considered themselves very productive, 34% quite productive, while only 14% of respondents acknowledged being little or not productive. What is the situation now? While some might expect productivity to plummet due to the traditional belief that lack of supervision is seen as an excuse for working little, the majority of respondents believe the picture is now very different, with 64% of the British, 71% of the French, 66% of the Germans and 68% of the Dutch thinking that productivity levels have improved.

Only 31% of UK employees surveyed acknowledged that their productivity levels had been adversely affected, likely due to a lack of preparation for teleworking at their company. This hit to productivity has been felt even less across Europe. A fifth of those surveyed in France and Germany said they had seen their productivity levels drop since the pandemic, along with just 17% of those employed in the Netherlands, probably because the Netherlands is more used to it. to a remote work environment.

Naturally, the benefits of working from home were just as widespread. 62% of Germans – where commutes to work can often be long and complex – said they were working more due to increased time availability, while 54% of those in the Netherlands – where offices are usually Overloaded and poorly ventilated – they cited fewer distractions and the biggest boost to their productivity.

Safety, the weak point

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, companies around the world have reported a worrying increase in cybersecurity incidents: an increase in phishing attempts to take advantage of the crisis, attacks through ransomware or DDoS … This ever-evolving threat scenario becomes even more worrisome with entire workforces working remotely, as devices used by workers to connect to corporate environments are more vulnerable when used outside of the company.

According to Okta, only a quarter of French respondents believe that the security measures taken by their companies to protect them from cyberattacks are satisfactory. In the UK the figure rises to 32%. However, the German and Dutch confidence drops to 18%.

Data from Okta’s study suggests that teleworking will grow in popularity even after physical distancing looks relaxed. Only 24% of UK respondents said they wanted to go back to the office full time, compared to 33% of French, 30% of Germans, and 33% of Dutch.

Although the results of the study have varied by country, the results are similar in terms of what people want. Most workers would like a flexible arrangement where they can work from home part-time. Of all respondents, across the UK and Europe, 35% said they would prefer this way of working in the future.

Even in a flexible future, we are not ready to give up the benefits of office environments completely. In the UK, more than half of employees (57%) say they miss in-person conversations with their co-workers, a number similar to German (46%) and Dutch (49%). In France, 9% say that if something is missing is personal meetings. And something that 10% of British people also miss is the extras that some companies offer, such as free food and drink or fitness classes.

The ideal will be to combine teleworking with the office

“As challenging as the future may be, one thing is clear: we will never return to normal as we know it, especially when it comes to the way we work. A more agile and flexible workforce is the future, and it will bring great benefits from a cultural and economic perspective, ”says Jesper Frederiksen, General Manager EMEA at Okta. “Companies should consider introducing a combined dynamic office and remote working system, which means they can re-evaluate traditional office space while providing employees with similar benefits, flexibility, and on-site work environments. that best suits your needs.

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