Romanian employees working from home appreciate saving time and money, but they miss interaction with colleagues
Working from home has both advantages and disadvantages. Eliminating the time spent in traffic and the money saved are the main advantages listed by the Romanian employees who were working in office buildings but are now working from home. In contrast, the lack of direct socialization with colleagues and the difficulty to separate professional from the personal time are the main disadvantages.
These are the results of a study conducted by the real estate consulting company Cushman & Wakefield Echinox. More than 200 employees who usually work from the office, but who are now working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, took part in the study, which was carried out online.
The respondents have an average age of 36 years and work mainly in Bucharest (88%) in various sectors of activity, such as professional services (24%), financial (18%), real estate (17%), or technology and telecommunications (13%). On average, respondents performed their activity at home for 15 working days before completing the questionnaire.
Most respondents (80%) appreciate saving the time spent in traffic, a considerable advantage in the context in which, on average, the employees in Bucharest have a commuting time between home and office of about 45 minutes on a regular day, according to a study performed last year by Cushman & Wakefield Echinox. The financial savings come next (for 49% of the respondents), followed by the improvement in work-life balance (43%), more freedom to manage working hours (40%), as well as the extra rest time (33%).
On the other hand, the most significant disadvantage is the lack of direct socialization with colleagues, mentioned by 74% of the respondents, followed by the difficulties in separating the time dedicated to the professional activity and the personal one (44%), the lack of proper space to work (33%) and the diminished capacity to focus, due to disturbing factors in the house (33%). Other issues are related to difficulties in managing the relationship with clients and collaborators (29%), technical issues (26%), and lack of direct feedback on the activity performed (24%).
In this context, the study has revealed a certain balance in the general description of the work from home experience. 38% of the respondents consider this period as very good or excellent, 34% good, while 28% find working from home to be unsatisfactory or even frustrating.
However, only 3% of respondents would prefer to work exclusively from home even after the restrictions imposed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted. Most of them would opt for a flexible program: 39% said they would like to work four days a week from the office and one day from home, while 27% would prefer to go to office only three days a week and work from home for two days. On average, the employees interviewed would choose to work 3.4 days from the office and 1.6 days from home.
“The current context has determined companies to take radical measures to protect the health of their employees and limit the spread of COVID-19, therefore about 80 - 90% of the employees working in office buildings are currently working from home. This massive migration comes with both advantages and disadvantages, which must be seen from the perspective of a temporary and somehow mandatory nature of these measures,” said Mădălina Cojocaru, Partner Office Agency Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
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