Study: Many large companies want to keep their home office

According to a study by the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW), many companies in Germany want to stick to their home office after the Corona crisis – including in industry. Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, only one in four companies in the manufacturing sector, which included mechanical engineering, the chemical and the automotive industry, worked regularly from home, according to an analysis by ZEW. Now it is almost 50 percent. For the time after the crisis, about 37 percent of companies plan to stick to the home office for their employees.

“Due to the new experiences and findings, many companies are planning to use home office more intensively after the crisis than before the start of the corona pandemic,” said ZEW expert Daniel Erdsiek. The changes in the information economy, which includes the ICT sector, media service providers and knowledge-intensive service providers, are even more pronounced than in industry. “Even before the crisis, roughly every second company used a home office in the information economy, since significantly more activities are suitable for flexible working here,” Erdsiek explained. Almost two thirds of the companies now planned to use their home office even after the crisis.

Both in the manufacturing sector and in the information industry, it is mainly larger companies with 100 or more employees who expect a permanent expansion of home work (56 and 75 percent). Overall, around one in three companies said they had invested in new technology at short notice in order to use home office during the crisis.

ZEW Mannheim surveyed a total of 1,765 companies in Europe for the study. The companies must have at least five employees. 990 companies from the field of information economy were interviewed. In June, the quarterly survey was extended to 775 manufacturing companies. (with material from dpa) /


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