Is working from home here to stay in Switzerland?
Despite the majority of COVID restrictions being lifted in Switzerland, many workers are still choosing to work from home. Now, psychologists across the country have found that many will not be returning to the office any time soon and instead opt to do their jobs at home.
Third of workers in Switzerland want to continue to work from home
A new study by Deloitte has revealed that a third of people in Switzerland would like to continue to work from home after the end of COVID restrictions. Toni Wäfler, Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at the University of Applied Sciences in Northwestern Switzerland, noted that many employees are looking for a “new mix” in their work contracts that would see more flexibility when it comes to home working.
In the future, Wäfler predicted that the office would only be used for interpersonal relations, creative exchange and office meetings, with desk work and individual tasks being carried out at home. Wäfler called on international companies in industries that need in-person employees to make working hours and conditions more attractive, as otherwise, students will choose to specialise in a home working career and deprive the manual industries of labour.
Home working does have its drawbacks
According to Gudela Grote, Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at ETH Zurich, “The classic working model, in which you do 100 percent of your work in the office, was already outdated before the pandemic.” She said that more and more people were asking for models that better suited a good work-life balance and that many are even choosing to move to a four-day working week, which has already been trialled by several Swiss companies.
However, Grote warned that the home office does have its disadvantages. She noted that there is little social interaction in remote working, meaning that creativity and innovation are hindered. In addition, those who have families with children may struggle to produce a good working environment when at home. There is also concern that a move to home working would have dramatic effects on Swiss businesses and public transport that rely on commuters for revenue.
Grote’s advice to entrepreneurs is that there are many different ways to have work completed effectively: "The task now is to continue to use the advantages of these newly learned ways of working…Employers and employees must now talk to each other in order to determine how to work after the pandemic and to adapt it optimally to all needs."