Covid-19 Could Be the Catalyst of Remote Working as the New Norm
According to a survey by Colliers International, 82% of employees would like to continue working from home at least one day a week after the COVID-19 crisis is over.
The coronavirus pandemic could turn into the catalyst for increased working from home in the future, a survey by global real estate advisor Colliers International has revealed.
The ‘Working from home during COVID-19’ survey was launched by Colliers International to discover people’s experiences with the shift to remote working introduced by businesses around the world in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Initial insights based on over 3,000 responses from a broad spectrum of office-based professions in more than 25 countries indicate that:
- 82% of employees would like to work remotely one day a week or more after the COVID-19 crisis is over
- 71% of people who had never worked from home before COVID-19 would like to work remotely at least one day a week in future
- 53% of those surveyed believe their productivity has not changed as a result of working from home, and 24% believe their productivity has actually increased. However, 23% said their productivity has declined.
- The highest increase in productivity has been observed in the financial services, professional services and technology industries. Productivity has decreased the most in the legal, education and research sectors.
- 55% believe that they are able to perform individual work requiring a higher level of focus better or much better at home than in the office
- 76% of respondents still feel connected to their team while working remotely. Conversely, 58% believe team collaboration is better working in the office compared to working from home.
Chris McLernon, Chief Executive Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Colliers International, concludes the initial results of the survey indicate that the coronavirus pandemic will bring about fundamental changes in ways of working:
“We are in the middle of the largest remote work trial in human history which will have a significant impact on the way we will work in the future.”
“It is essential to understand how people are experiencing working from home during this challenging period, and this study from the Workplace Advisory team at Colliers International is uncovering unique global data that will help us to provide fact-based advice on short term improvements and long term impact.
“It is already clear that many people are embracing working from home, and are likely to want to continue a certain level of remote working for a part of the week, even when they will be able to return to their offices.”
A report with the initial findings from the ‘Working from home during COVID-19’ survey is expected to be published at the end of April.
It is the first part of a multi-phased study by Colliers International, which aims to give insights into working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak, to identify opportunities for improvements, and to explore the long-term implications for office spaces.
Jan Jaap Boogaard, Head of Colliers Workplace Advisory for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said:
“We find ourselves in a challenging, but also unique situation which offers opportunities to rethink the way we work.”
“We should use this opportunity to measure what works and what doesn’t work to benefit from in the future, which is why we started our working from home study. The first results show some very interesting insights. The majority of the people have indicated that productivity has not changed since working from home. Approximately the same number of people have indicated their productivity has increased as those who say theirs has decreased. Also, over 70% of people who had never worked from home before COVID-19 would like to work remotely at least one day a week in the future. This will have a significant impact on the space requirements of organisations,” he concludes.
Details from the initial findings of the survey indicate a desire to continue flexible working to some extent after the COVID-19 crisis.
A total of 49% respondents say they would like to work remotely an average of 1-2 days a week, while 32% would choose to work remotely 3 or more days a week. Only 19% of employees surveyed would prefer to work remotely less than one day a week.
The differences were apparent between people who had recently started working from home and those who had already been working from home for a couple of weeks.
Of those who had already been working from home for four weeks because of COVID-19 prior to taking the survey, only 7% wanted to go back to working from the office every day after the end of the pandemic.
By contrast, among those who have been working from home for just a week, a total of 22% want to return to working in the office after COVID-19.
The survey also reveals that the experiences of working from home differ between those with and without children at home, as well as from those with housemates.
A total of 33% of respondents report having more distractions when working from home. The top distraction is children, followed by other people in the household and pets.
People living alone and those who live with a spouse or partner show the lowest decrease in productivity.
The main location for working from home is an enclosed room dedicated to work (39%), followed by the living room (32%), the bedroom (17%) and the kitchen (15%). The majority of those who live alone choose to work from their living rooms, but the majority of people with children at home work from an enclosed room dedicated to work.
The initial survey results also indicate that people with housemates are keener to return to the office after the COVID-19 crisis, compared to those who live alone, people with children and people that live with a spouse or a partner.
Colliers International is a leading real estate professional services and investment management company and one of the organizers of the Baltic Real Estate Leaders Forum which will take place in Riga on 6 November 2020.
The forum will look at the future real estate success factors in digitalization, investment and urban planning. Tickets are available here.
If you’d like to take part in the survey, fill in the questionnaire here.