A strong desire to continue working from home

Most employees who are working from their own properties or rental homes would prefer to continue to do so, even when offices reopen.

According to respondents in the third round of a joint research conducted by Nyenrode Business University, Open University and Moneypenny, this number totals some 97 per cent.

According to the study nine per cent wants to keep working from home fulltime, while 88 per cent prefer a hybrid 50/50 model.

The missing of real life formal and informal contact moments with colleagues is still largely present but has not increased since November.

And an increasing number of employees is worried about the possible obligation of having to be physically present in the office again, especially to sit in on meetings.

Employees communicate on average 4.5 hours per day digitally and the lack of “real” contact is seen by respondents as the main disadvantage of working from home.

Dr Martine Coun, of the Open University, says: “From the three psychological basic human needs – autonomy, competence and connection – the latter is most under pressure when people work home for such a long period of time as during the corona crisis.

“Employees who are working from home seem to accept the fact that going into the office is not an option right now and have developed work and communication patterns they resign in.

“Early in the second lockdown, we saw the social cohesion figures in our research decline fast.

“Most people had managed working from home at that point, but the lack of contact put a strain on the cohesion within teams which was felt strongly.

“People also indicated to experience less work pleasure. Now we see a stabilization.

“We still miss each other, but it has not worsened in comparison to back in November. In fact, work pleasure has even made some sort of a comeback.”