Munich/Nuremberg – Despite the end of the corona pandemic, the pathogen has permanently changed working life according to unanimous assessments in business and science.
In particular, home office work has become firmly established three years after the start of the first corona lockdown. Neither the Association of Bavarian Business (vbw) nor the DGB nor the Munich Ifo Institute assume that employees will work in the office again in the usual numbers.
“Home office and video conferencing are common practice in companies today and it’s hard to imagine everyday business life without them,” says vbw CEO Bertram Brossardt.
Video conferencing is part of everyday life
The first corona lockdown began on March 21, 2020. According to a current vbw study, 96 percent of the companies surveyed from the industrial and service sectors now offer at least part of the workforce the opportunity to work from home. Before the pandemic began in 2019, it was just over half. According to vbw, video conferences are now part of everyday life in 93 percent of companies; in 2019 it was only 26 percent.
According to the Munich Ifo Institute, the proportion of employees who work at home has stabilized at around a quarter. The original concern of many companies that unsupervised employees in the home office would become sluggish has so far not come true. “As a rule, working from home does not reduce productivity, in some cases productivity increases are even measurable, with increasing job satisfaction among employees,” says Jean-Victor Alipour, an expert at the Munich Ifo Institute.
One consequence of the pandemic was that workers turned their backs on some sectors in droves, such as in the catering industry. “Whole sector shifts of workers could be observed,” says the Bavarian DGB chairman Bernhard Stiedl. “The cuts caused by the pandemic, for example in the area of self-employment or mini-jobbers, are still visible today”