Saving money and time spent in traffic are the main advantages of working from home, while the main disadvantages are the lack of direct socialization with colleagues and the difficulty in separating professional from personal time, according to a survey conducted by Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
The study was done online via a questionnaire filled out by more than 200 employees who normally work from the office, but have been working from home in the last weeks, as part of the social distancing measures adopted to limit the spread of COVID-19. The respondents have an average age of 36 years and work mainly in Bucharest (88%), in various sectors of activity, such as professional services (24%), financial (18%), real estate (17%) or technology and telecommunications (13%). On average, respondents have been performing their activity at home for 15 working days at the completion of the questionnaire.
80% of the respondents appreciate saving the time spent in traffic, a considerable advantage in the context in which, on average, the employees in Bucharest have a commuting time of about 45 minutes on a regular day, according to a study performed last year by Cushman & Wakefield Echinox. The following advantages are considered to be financial savings (for 49% of the respondents), improved work-life balance (43%), more freedom to manage working hours (40%), as well as the extra rest time (33 %).
On the other hand, the biggest disadvantage is the lack of direct socialization with colleagues, mentioned by 74% of the respondents, followed by the difficulties in separating the time dedicated to the professional activity and the personal one (44%), the lack of proper space to work (33%) and the diminished capacity to focus, due to disturbing factors in the house (33%). Other issues reported are related to difficulties in managing the relationship with clients and collaborators (29%), technical issues (26%) and lack of direct feedback on the activity performed (24%).
38% of the respondents consider this period as very good or excellent, 34% good, while for 28% of them the work from home time is unsatisfactory or even frustrating. Moreover, the option of working exclusively from home after the restrictions have ended is preferred by only 3% of the respondents, most of them opting for a flexible program of 4 work from the office days and 1 from home (39% of respondents) or 3 days at the office and 2 at home (27%). On average, the employees interviewed would choose, if they had the opportunity, to work 3.4 days from the office and 1.6 days from home.
Mădălina Cojocaru, Partner Office Agency at Cushman & Wakefield Echinox says: “The current context has determined companies to take radical measures to protect the health of their employees and limit the spread of COVID-19, therefore about 80 - 90% of the employees working in office buildings are currently working from home. This massive migration comes with both advantages and disadvantages, which must be seen from the perspective of a temporary and somehow mandatory nature of these measures. It is encouraging that many activities belonging to the services sector were able to be continued from home, thus avoiding blocking an additional number of companies. However, we consider a mixed solutions future, where the office continues to have priority, as it doesn’t represent only the physical space, but also a place where people socialize and collaborate, which also reflects the values and culture of each organization.”
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