The summer vacation is coming to an end for most Swiss employees. But not everyone has to go back to the office and the workplace. Because they have had good experiences with the home office since the lockdown, many companies such as Lidl are rapidly expanding their home office offering. “All of our office employees now have the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week,” says Lidl spokeswoman Corina Milz. Of course it was voluntary.
The Groupe Mutuel health insurance company started a home office pilot project before the crisis, but it has not yet established itself everywhere. “The crisis has given this project an enormous boost,” says Groupe Mutuel spokesman Serkan Isik. Home office is now possible for two days a week.
New tenants are expected to fill office space
Novartis and the major bank UBS have already decided – because of the lockdown home office experience – to introduce home office on a large scale. At the pharmaceutical company, 110,000 employees worldwide can choose whether and how much they want to work in the home office in the future. This saves a lot of money: Next year, Novartis boss Vas Narasimhan (44) wants to rent the office space that is no longer needed – sometimes on the spacious campus in Basel – to third parties.
UBS boss Sergio Ermotti (60) also wants to save on office space with more home office. Business also worked flawlessly with 95 percent of bank employees in the home office during the lockdown.
Proportion of fixed home office offers increases from 40 to 52 percent
A broad study by Job Cloud of over 3100 employees, which is available exclusively from BLICK, confirms that more home office opportunities meet the needs of 80 percent of employees. Before the Corona crisis, 28 percent of employees were free to choose whether they wanted to work in the home office. Another twelve percent were able to work from home a few days a week.
But do companies at home office really step on the gas when the pressure from Corona is gone? A number of companies such as Coop and Post do not yet want to decide whether to expand their home office. Nevertheless, the trend among 265 decision makers surveyed by Job Cloud is clear: 40 percent see home office as a fixed part of the workload according to Covid-19. Another twelve percent want to give employees complete flexibility. Job Cloud operates the leading job portal jobs.ch.
A significant proportion of 38 percent of companies that previously did not offer home office opportunities were convinced by the Corona experience. In the future, they will introduce a fixed percentage of home office days, as the study further shows. The Corona surge should thus increase the proportion of companies that regularly offer home offices from 40 percent to over 50 percent.
More home office offers in job advertisements
The trend is also evident in the job advertisement market. According to a job cloud analysis of the advertised positions on jobs.ch, companies advertise significantly more with the possibility for home office for new employees. “We have found that the number of job advertisements, which specifically mention the possibility of home office in the text, rose by 30 percent between the end of March and the end of June,” says Job Cloud boss Davide Villa (54). Villa believes that employers need to offer flexible work models so that they can continue to attract the best talent.
According to the survey, most companies want to increase employee satisfaction with their home office. 39 percent are convinced that this can also increase their productivity. For every third boss, the home office comes in handy to reduce infrastructure costs and save office space.
Home office was yesterday. Siemens is now talking about mobile work and is preparing accordingly for the future.
With the new Siemens app Comfy, the German technology group wants to liberalize the previous office culture and maintain the flexibility gained during the Corona crisis. “Our employees should be free to choose their place of work,” says Siemens Switzerland HR Manager Thomas Frick (58). After the lockdown, the group management in Munich (D) decided that more than half of the approximately 240,000 employees will be able to work two to three days a week in the future.
Head of HR Frick explains how this works: Depending on the task, an employee selects his workplace and registers it via the app – regardless of location. “Someone who works at the Zug site should be able to work in Zurich at any time,” says Frick. Comfy should – for example with the help of maps – “make local peculiarities accessible in an understandable way”.
In Germany, the app will be launched at 18 of 20 locations at the end of August. It is said to be available to a large part of the 5700 employees. According to Frick, Siemens is not only responding to the corona pandemic. Because: “Our employees have different needs depending on their phase of life.” The new concept should better reconcile work and private life.
With increased teleworking, less office space is needed at Siemens. But as long as the corona crisis continues, no area will be mined. In the future, the concept will also be used by other companies – installed and installed by the building technicians from Siemens. Levin tribe
Fear of surveillance
However, it is questionable whether the home office will cost the company as cheaply as in a Corona state of emergency in normal times. In the long term, employees at home will no longer want to do without an ergonomic office chair. A payment to apartment rents is also likely to become an issue. In the spring, the federal court awarded a fiduciary employee who was sent to the home office a contribution of CHF 150 towards the rent. Only if the employees work voluntarily in the home office does the employer not have to pay for the costs.
Despite great encouragement, employees see the home office not only positively. Most often, they criticize the lack of trust from the employer. Accordingly, the Federal Data Protection Officer received significantly more inquiries regarding data security and employee tracking during the lockdown, as BLICK learns on request.
Another downside of home office: Almost half of the respondents stated that they worked too much in the home office and did not have the work-life balance under control.
The corona virus currently occupies the whole world and there are new developments every day. All current information and figures on the subject are available in the Coronavirus ticker.