Numerous restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic forced most companies to change their working model to remote work. For almost a year, many office employees have been working from their own homes, some companies decided to move to a home office or hybrid work model. Will this trend stay with us for good?
Remote work is not a phenomenon that suddenly appeared in Poland with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It had a group of supporters long before, but it was rather more of a benefit, which was used by only a small percentage of employees . Meanwhile, according to the Report on the Study of Remote Work during the Covid-19 Pandemic, in April 2020 as much as 85.6 percent of respondents worked from home full time, 5 days a week.
Human, a social being
According to Marek Ciunowicz, CEO at the Corees Polska agency, specializing in advising entities on the commercial real estate market, this trend will not last long: – Human is a social being, has a need to live in a group and have personal contacts that will not be replaced by meetings with colleagues on Teams or Zoom – he emphasizes. His opinion is confirmed by research conducted in the 1980s by the American psychologist David McClelland on employee motivations: for 80 percent of the respondents, the main motivation to work was not power or achievements, but the need to be part of a team. This is also in line with the results of research conducted in Poland during the pandemic, according to which about half of the respondents described the lack of direct contact with colleagues as the most negative consequence and the biggest difficulty related to remote work .
Remote work is not teleworking
A big problem that causes employees to return to their offices is also the constant lack of legal regulations in the field of working from home. There is still no amendment to the Act – the Labor Code, which would regulate, among others, such important issues as compliance with health and safety regulations, liability for accidents during remote work, or ergonomics of the workplace. The issues of compensation for the employee for the use of private tools during work, including electricity or the Internet, and the method of employer’s control at the place of performance of tasks, are still unregulated.
What bothers employees
Apart from the lack of contacts with colleagues, the second greatest difficulty indicated by the respondents is the presence of children at home, caring for them and learning with them. Employees also complain about working days lasting longer than 8 hours and frequent teleconferences, even many hours long, which are becoming more and more burdensome.
What bothers employers
In the case of home office, it is very difficult to recruit and introduce new employees. 81 percent of employers who took part in the survey carried out by Talent Place believe that recruiting employees remotely is a challenge . Usually, a new employee’s first three months in a company are the most crucial, during which they get into their work, learn the rules and procedures. The next three months usually decide whether they will stay with the company for more than a year. In the case of remote work, this process is very difficult – the new employee cannot count on support from colleagues and superiors that they would have if they were working in the office. According to research conducted by the Gallup Institute, relationships with the immediate supervisor is a key factor of employee’s work motivation. Working form home, a new employee is often completely deprived of this relationship. It is also impossible to establish social ties, which are often crucial for work efficiency and, above all, to feel as a part of a team.
Remote work will certainly not leave us with the end of the restrictions and the pandemic itself. Many people still see a lot of positive aspects in this, such as saving time previously spent on commuting. People whose work will not be disturbed by their children with online lessons, who have a comfortable working space, will certainly want to partially combine working in the office with working from home. However, the division of time between the office and home tilts significantly towards the office. According to research, half of the employees would decide to work from home one or two days a week at most .
- Dr Anna Dolot, Raport z badania dotyczącego pracy zdalnej w czasie pandemii covid-19, kwiecień 2020, do pobrania: https://epale.ec.europa.eu/sites/default/files/praca_zdalna_w_czasie_pandemii_covid-19_raport_anna_dolot_all_1.pdf
- Raport Koalicji Bezpieczni w Pracy „Bezpieczeństwo pracy w Polsce 2020. Wpływ pandemii koronawirusa na polski rynek pracy” http://bezpieczniwpracy.pl/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Raport-Bezpiecze%C5%84stwo-Pracy-w-Polsce-2020.pdf
- Raport: Praca Zdalna - Przywilej czy nadchodzący standard? zrealizowany przez Talent Place we współpracy z Instytutem Badawczym Keralla listopad 2019: https://raportpracazdalna.talentplace.pl/
- Raport z badania dotyczącego pracy zdalnej w czasie pandemii covid-19