The trend towards working from home, which began during the pandemic, is continuing. In the information economy, more than half of the employees in more than every third company work from home at least once a week. This is the result of an analysis now presented by the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW). This number is therefore the highest since the beginning of the analysis, the proportion of companies with at least 20 percent of the employees working from home is 59 percent, slightly below the value of June 2021 (63 percent) – shortly after the end of the second lockdown. In the information economy and in the manufacturing industry, it is also expected that home office will be used even more widely in the future.
Companies without a home office don’t plan with it either
According to the current ZEW industry report on the information economy, before the start of the corona pandemic, 48 percent of companies in the information economy had someone working from home; since then, this proportion has remained constant at 80 percent or more. A new high of 83 percent was reached in June 2023. In the manufacturing sector, the share has more than doubled from 24 to 51 percent. At the same time, 35 percent in the information economy, in which people are already working from home, expect a further increase, in the manufacturing industry even 43 percent. Meanwhile, the vast majority of companies that currently do not have a home office do not expect anything to change by 2025.
summary of results
Regular work from home has thus established itself as the new normal in the sectors examined, writes Daniel Erdsiek from ZEW. The trend towards hybrid work that began with the pandemic – i.e. partly in the office and partly at home – is “continuing unabated”. In 2023, the model became even more established. The economic research institute compares figures from Corona with those from June 2020, June 2021 and June 2023. In addition to the ICT economy, the information economy also includes media service providers and knowledge-intensive service providers, for example from auditing, market research and management consulting.
As recently as July, the economic research institute Ifo published an analysis according to which German employees can work a particularly large amount of work from home in a European comparison. With an average of one day of home office per week, Germany comes in second place among 17 European countries, only behind Great Britain. Out of a total of 34 countries worldwide, Canada with 1.7, the USA with 1.4 and Australia with 1.3 days per week are ahead of Germany. The average is just under 0.9 days. At the same time, however, the numbers are below what the employees would like.
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