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47 percent are equally effective or more efficient at home offices

Nearly half of all working professionals had home offices in March 2020 because of the coronavirus. 47 percent of them say they are just as effective or more efficient now than in their regular workplace.

This is evident from a simple survey conducted by the Institute of Transport Economics using data collected by the analysis company Kantar. The survey includes a nationwide sample of 950 people.

49 per cent of all unemployed persons who are not laid off or on sick leave say that they had a home office on Thursday 19 March. Eight percent had the opportunity for a home office, but traveled to work anyway and 21 percent responded that they did not have the opportunity for a home office and went to work. Two percent say they were at home in quarantine without the opportunity for a home office while only one percent were at home to care for children without the opportunity to work.

The results thus indicate that very few people were at home that day only because schools and kindergartens were closed and without the opportunity to work.

The results also indicate great flexibility and good work opportunities at home. 16 percent say they were a little more or much more efficient at home that day than usual in the office and 31 percent say they were just as effective.

So almost half perform as well or better when they have a home office. 41 percent consider that they were slightly less efficient and 12 percent that they were much less efficient at the home office that day. Next no one replies that this didn't work at all.

In the survey we also asked those who were less effective about why. Here it was possible to check for several factors. 40 per cent say that it is easier to be distracted by other things when you have a home office (eg food is readily available) and almost as many state that it is not possible to do all the tasks from home (39 per cent) or that it was difficult to communicate with colleagues (38 percent).

Other important factors mentioned: 34 percent state that they were less effective because children were at home at the same time, poorly adapted workplace (29 percent), difficult to motivate and poor working tools (26 percent).

"When this crisis is over, it is not inconceivable that we can get a boost both in the home office and in the use of video meetings," says research leader Susanne Nordbakke at TØI. The fact that such a large proportion of the population has the opportunity to work at home is interesting in relation to work travel and the burden on the transport system. For example, more home offices can also help to ease the pressure on car traffic and public transport during rush hour in a normal situation, says Nordbakke.


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