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Published: 3 month

More and more companies are deciding to eliminate the home office

Before COVID, the home office was the privilege of workers in multinational companies, but during the epidemic it became a mandatory work schedule in office jobs and has now become a symbol of modern working in our country. Yet while in the EU, on average, 22% work from home or in hybrid working arrangements, the figure is only 10% in this country.

Egyre több vállalatnál döntenek a home office megszüntetése mellett-

We are lagging far behind in the region in the proportion of home office workers, but there are some where it works well and is balanced. However, in many places employers are reluctant to replace the present workplace and there is growing evidence that large companies that have been home-based are preparing to return to office-based working. At the same time, however, many large companies are taking a completely different direction and are no longer working from home, but from anywhere.

As a result of employee demands, the popularity of the home office continues to grow and has become almost an expectation for a new workplace. However, in this country, employers still have mixed views on working from home.

"The suitability of the home office depends largely on the industry, the nature of the work and the company culture. Where a home office culture has been established and institutionalised in a structured way,
the first experiences have been clearly positive, with companies and employees alike welcoming the permanent opportunity. The current labour market and employee habits and needs have undergone significant changes in recent times. The youngest generation of workers, those currently starting or at the beginning of their careers, demand greater freedom and more flexible working conditions. This generation has grown up in a highly liberalised environment and is less inclined to authoritarian, conservative systems. The appeal of the home office for workers is the convenience, time and money savings and the better work-life balance it offers. Although the home office means cost savings and easier maintenance for both parties, there are concerns about efficiency on the employer side," said Attila Katkics, HR specialist.

Employees want it, employers worry

The expert also added that there is a significant debate about the extent to which telecommuting affects the productivity of employees, and thus the revenue indicators and efficiency of companies, by working from home. Company managers who oppose home office work believe that teleworking inhibits effective communication, community building, teamwork, the quality of interactions, and hinders promotion and the development of skills and abilities. They also argue that workers with significant telecommuting opportunities have been found to be more likely to need mental health support because of signs of loneliness, depression and anxiety.

Currently, 10 percent of Hungarians work in a hybrid work environment, compared with an EU average of over 22 percent, but in Austria, for example, it is close to 28 percent. The average Hungarian worker - in places where hybrid working is available at all - typically has 1-2 days a week at home and 3-4 days a week in the office.

"Whether the future winner will be present working, the home office or a hybrid solution combining the two is very difficult to say at this stage, but there is no doubt that more companies are now opting for a gradual return of workers to offices, mainly for better controllability and effective community building. However, with generations working together, the different needs that this brings, and such advances in technology, the needs of employees and the potential of hybrid working for both parties, as well as the economic policy case, should not be forgotten. The home office is not black or white, it is definitely tailored to the company and the company culture, and I encourage all managers to experiment, if only for their own sake, in order to increase the flexibility of their own business. Further west of us, this type of approach is no longer a problem, and there is active experimentation with reducing weekly working hours," says Attila Katkics, HR specialist.

photo: freepik

In a survey by HR Portal, we asked how the home office policy has changed in respondents' workplaces. The results are summarised here.

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