Home office: One in four employees wants psychological counseling


A new study “How do we evaluate remote work after a year of pandemic?”from ClickMeeting sheds light on the current situation in the home office. Other studies show that the psychological burden of home office work should not be underestimated. […]

Home office instead of open-plan office, lonely snack instead of a convivial canteen visit: The world of work has changed significantly in many areas since spring 2020. In a new survey by ClickMeeting in the DACH region, a good two-thirds (69 percent) of respondents said that they currently work entirely or partially from home. For many, this is a relatively new experience. Because 90 percent worked at least in the office before the pandemic. The return to the office seems to be firmly in view in many companies in 2021. However, 46 percent expect a hybrid model of home office and office and only 35 percent expect a complete return to face-to-face work in the current year. Hybrid working models will obviously continue to determine everyday life. Surprisingly, one in ten does not know the current plans of their employer at all.

High level of equipment in the home office

From the working corner in the kitchen to your own, separate study: The conditions under which home office currently takes place can vary drastically depending on the living situation. However, most respondents are satisfied with the bottom line: 70 percent find sufficient conditions for their work at home with regard to factors such as premises and noise levels, but for the remaining 30 percent this applies only partially or not at all. While in 2020 some hardware needed for the home office was difficult to obtain in the meantime, the equipment level in home offices now seems to be at a high to very high level. An overwhelming majority of 88 percent say that they have the appropriate equipment and opportunities for their work at home.

Quality of Internet connection usually sufficient

And, to defy all the repeated complaints from the digital “development region” Germany, Austria and Switzerland: even with the Internet connection, most employees in the home office apparently have no problems: 82 percent state that the quality of their Internet connection is sufficient for their home office activities. However, this also means that around one in six (16 percent) is slowed down in their productivity at least occasionally by too slow or unstable Internet.

Home office additional costs are usually not reimbursed – but this is exactly what would be desired

The work in the home office causes many times higher costs-be it through a necessary, faster Internet connection, the purchase of devices or just by the additional energy consumption. In many cases, however, employees are left sitting on these additional costs: With 48 percent, almost half of the respondents state that they do not receive a refund from their employer. The costs are only fully covered at 21 percent; at least 28 percent receive partial compensation. However, exactly such compensation is at the top of the “wish list” of employees: 44 percent would like such a subsidy for typical additional costs such as office equipment, Internet and electricity consumption. In contrast, only 19.5 percent of respondents expect a generally higher salary in return for working in the home office.

Only one percent have been offered a psychological consultation so far

As the duration of the corona pandemic progresses, possible psychological effects of working in the home office are also increasingly discussed. After all, one in four (25 percent) would like their employer to make a voluntary offer for a conversation with a psychologist. However, around 45 percent explicitly do not want this. In fact, such a consultation is already offered to only one percent of respondents. The answer to the question of whether home office should be clearly taken into account in employment law is very clear: 80.5 percent are of this opinion, while only 4 percent of respondents oppose it.

As far as the current study ” How do we evaluate remote work after a year of pandemic?”the webinar and video conference specialist ClickMeeting, which is based on a representative online survey of 731 people in the DACH region in April 2021.

What is the actual level of psychological stress?

Kristina Regentrop has summarized two studies. For the AI@Work study, Oracle asked around 12,000 people from eleven countries about the work situation during the corona pandemic. “According to the study, seven out of ten people found 2020 to be the most stressful working year ever. More than three quarters of respondents (78 percent) report that they are impaired in their psychological well – being-in Germany, a good two thirds (68 percent) say so. Overall, younger people are the most affected. Around 41 percent of the people surveyed said that they are confronted with stress factors such as pressure to perform or an excessive workload at work every day,“ says Regentrop.

According to a study by the Technical University (TU) Chemnitz in cooperation with the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), around 60 percent of respondents said that the boundaries between work and private life are blurred in the home office. More than one in four (27 percent) perceive this as a burden. Working women in the home office with young children are particularly affected, in the form of a double burden, writes Kristina Regentrop in her post.

Conclusion: Even if a sustainable relaxation of the corona crisis is in sight, many companies will integrate the home office system much more into their organizational strategies-keyword hybrid mode of operation. So it is important that much more attention is paid to the psychological component. Above all, the HR departments are required here.

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