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Working in Corona times: the number of people working from home has increased significantly


The number of people working at home in the second shutdown has continued to rise. Currently, almost half of the employees work at least part of the time at home. But: The complaints about stress are increasing.

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Work at home: More than twice as many in the home office as before the pandemic

Photo: Sebastian Gollnow / picture alliance / dpa

In mid-February, 49 percent of all dependent employees worked permanently or on some days from home or another freely specified location.

This is the result of a representative survey by the Bonn Research Institute on the Future of Work (IZA) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labor, which is available to SPIEGEL.

The proportion is around 13 percent above the value in the first shutdown in a comparable survey in summer 2020. Compared to the times before the pandemic, the proportion of employees working from home has even more than doubled, estimate the IZA researchers.

In contrast to other studies, the exact hourly working hours and home office time were also asked.

Of those who work in the home office, more than half (56 percent) spend more than 80 percent of their working hours there.

Only five percent only worked sporadically from home, i.e. less than 20 percent of their working hours.

However, the survey also shows again that the higher the school leaving certificate and income, the greater the use of home office.

Women are given less work equipment

Computers, laptops and tablets are now made available to the vast majority of employees (85 percent), while the figure for smartphones and cell phones is 44 percent.

Office furniture such as desks or office chairs, however, only gets one in ten.

Eight percent do not receive any work equipment from their employers at all.

However, the survey reveals a remarkable gender difference: While this is the case for men in only six percent, women almost twice as often (eleven percent) go empty-handed.

In general, the IZA researchers found that female home office workers were given work equipment less often than their male colleagues.

And the other 50 percent?

The main reason the other half didn't work from home in February is clear.

86 percent of employees said: "The work I do is not suitable for this." At 28 percent, the reason that the respondents wanted personal contact with their colleagues was already in second place.

19 percent want to separate work and private life.

About the same number said that the technical conditions at home were poor or nonexistent.

Only nine percent said they did not allow this and seven percent said they did not like working from home in the company.

Most feel safe in the workplace

The IZA also asked about the effects of the tightening of the Corona Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance at the end of January 2021. A quarter said that they had perceived changes after it came into force.

In February, 22 percent of those working from home worked more from home than in January.

At 72 percent, the scope does not change.

Only six percent work less in the home office than in the previous month.

87 percent of employees stated that employers offered their employees medical masks.

As recently as December, a quarter of them had not yet received such an offer.

The vast majority of the employees surveyed (82 percent) consider the protective measures taken by employers in the companies to be just right.

Only eleven percent do not feel they are adequately protected by their employers.

In this respect, only 17 percent of employees are very worried or very worried about being infected with the coronavirus while working.

Nevertheless, the feeling of strain increases

However, the pandemic is increasingly putting pressure on workers' feelings of stress and satisfaction with life.

42 percent of those questioned answered that they are currently heavily or very heavily stressed.

In women, at 48 percent, this condition is much more pronounced than in men (36 percent).

The increasing stress level also depresses life satisfaction.

On a scale from 0 for completely unsatisfied to 10 for completely satisfied, the average value in the survey leveled off at 6.7.

In a comparable determination in April 2020, i.e. at the beginning of the corona crisis, this value was 7.4 percent for the population living in Germany.

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Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-03-02

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