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Published: 4 month

One fifth of companies have tightened home office rules

Nearly a fifth of domestic businesses surveyed have tightened home office rules in the past year, according to a Schneider Electric survey. The option of working from home is widespread, with 90 per cent of HR professionals surveyed indicating that their company has such an option, but there is also a growing need to set and strictly enforce the framework.

Survey of Hungarian HR professionals on home office practices and experiences in Hungary was conducted by Schneider Electric. One of the most important findings of the survey is that the home office has become commonplace among businesses in Hungary. A quarter of respondents offer this option to everyone, around two thirds of those whose job allows them to work from home, and only 12% of companies do not offer this option at all.

About half of the companies surveyed not only clearly define the scope of the home office, but also strictly enforce the rules. While 23 percent of respondents have rules on working from home, they are very loosely managed, meaning that essentially everyone works when and where it is most convenient for them. And a further 27% of companies responding to the survey have no home office policy at all, allowing staff to work from home in agreement with their line manager.

More than half of the companies have not changed their home office policy in the recent past, but a tenth have only introduced it in the last six months to a year. Around a third of respondents have made changes recently, and nearly a fifth have tightened up the restrictions on the number of days or restrictions on working from home.

In addition to the regulation, Schneider Electric also asked in its survey about the proportion of office and home office days in a week. The most common arrangement is 2 days at home and 3 days in the office, chosen by 3 out of 10 companies that completed the survey. The second most common case is when there is no formal home working but it is possible on the basis of specific needs, which is the case in around a fifth of the companies that completed the survey.

One day at home and four days in the office is the practice for 14% of respondents, and the reverse is also the case, with four days a week working from home and only one day in the office. A similar 8-8 per cent are represented by companies where there is a 3-2 split between home office and office presence, or where employees can choose to work from home on any number of days.

Team unity has weakened at a third of businesses

Over all, the results of the survey suggest that the home office has not been at the expense of efficient working.Half of respondents reported no significant change in working efficiency, 40 percent reported that they were working more efficiently from home, and only 10 percent reported a decrease in working efficiency.

The picture is significantly different when looking at the impact of the home office on team unity. There is a surprisingly high proportion of companies where the widespread use of the home office has weakened team cohesion and even worsened the workplace atmosphere, with around a third of respondents reporting this. In fact, in the majority of firms surveyed, 7 out of 10 firms, the introduction of the home office had not affected employee relations. To a minimal extent, however, there were also examples of team cohesion being strengthened after the introduction of the home office.

Spanias, spansan, and Spenan

Home office is important, but extra support is rare

The responses also show that the home office has become much more valued in recent times, with more than a third of respondents saying that it has become a particularly important option for employees since Covid, and a fifth reporting that it is a particular disadvantage not to be able to work from home in a job.

It was clear from the research that working from home has an impact on employee satisfaction, with 95 per cent of respondents indicating this. Just over 60 percent said it had a positive impact, while one-third said that not having a home office negatively affected employee satisfaction.

Although, as these data show, the importance of the home office has increased, a surprisingly high proportion of companies do not provide extra support for it. More than half of the companies in the survey do, with 18 percent installing equipment to support home working and only 2 percent contributing to overheads. A fifth of respondents support the home office in other ways, and two per cent of those that do so provide equipment, contribute to overheads and support it in other ways.

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