The Netherlands wants to work from home twice as long after the corona crisis

October 28, 2021 by No Comments

Working Netherlands expects to work from home more permanently after the corona crisis than before. Workers do want to return to their workplace for most of the week, in all sectors.

On average, the Dutch expect to work from home eight hours a week after the corona crisis, according to a survey among three thousand workers that the Central Planning Bureau (CPB) published this Thursday. That is more than twice as much as before the corona crisis, when they say they worked 3.8 hours a week from home.

The differences between sectors are large. Workers in the financial and business services expect to continue working from home the most: 41 percent, or two days in a full-time working week. That is a large doubling compared to before corona.

Office jobs

This corresponds to a survey of NRC, earlier this month, among eight large employers with many office jobs. They expected, partly based on their own surveys, that their office staff would continue to work from home about half of the week. The CPB survey does not only look at office staff, but at all workers.

Unsurprisingly, workers in construction, retail and healthcare expect the least to start working from home after the corona crisis: an average of 12 to 14 percent of the week.

The largest increase is expected by workers in the public sector. They think they will work from home more than three times as much as before corona: 35 percent of the time.

Although the study predicts significant increases, says author Egbert Jongen, “there is no landslide.” Boy, labor program leader at the CPB, thinks that workers have a ‘realistic expectation’ with this. “I also like to work at home for a day now and then, for example when I’m working on a research or have to study something well. Working from home certainly has its advantages, but within limits.”

Productiviteitswinst

This is also apparent from the scientific literature. Working from home more often usually results in productivity gains. Boy: “There is no travel time, people can concentrate more easily and some feel more at ease at home.” But the more people work from home in an organization, the smaller that positive effect becomes. Working from home too much can even have a negative effect. It seems that there is „a minimal amount face-to-facecontact is necessary to achieve a good working relationship”, according to the CPB study. And: “In particular, implicit knowledge cannot easily be disseminated via digital channels.”

Remarkably enough, the preference to work from home has grown rapidly since March last year, according to a study by the Knowledge Institute for Mobility Policy earlier this month. In the first lockdown, in March and April, only a quarter of the workers surveyed expected to work from home more often after corona. In the summer that share had risen to 45 percent, in the autumn to 47 percent. Boy: “Maybe that increase is because people first worked for a long time at the kitchen table and later bought a decent chair and desk. But maybe people just like working from home more and more.”