Is this a return to "business as usual"?
According to the industry association Bitkom, around one in two employees worked completely or at least partially from home during the pandemic. Currently, "social distancing" measures are gradually being relaxed and employees can partially return to their offices. A study by staffing firm Robert Half concludes that despite positive experiences, working from home also has drawbacks. The authors see the future more in hybrid models. And Xing's new "Corona Barometer" also shows that employers must create real opportunities to meet in order to ensure cohesion.
More support among employees than before the crisis
According to the Robert Half survey, most companies have learned to cope well with the changed working world, which is becoming increasingly digital. Employees would have quickly gotten used to the new situation and adapted their working methods. According to the survey, one-third of respondents say that the workforce works well together under the current conditions and that colleagues even support each other better as a team. Almost three in ten (29 percent) say employees still have a positive attitude toward their work. The study chalks this up as positive, even if the results suggest the reverse, that two-thirds are not (any longer) positive.
Digitization influences future forms of work
Many employees have to adapt to a new working world
Hybrid working as a model for the future
Well-being in the home office difficult for executives to oversee
When asked about the challenges of remote work and hybrid working, one-third of the executives surveyed (33 percent) cited finding employees with new skills. Just as many said it is difficult to keep track of employee well-being and mental health. Thirty-two percent noted higher costs for "additional benefits" such as technical equipment, health offerings or childcare.
Task for employers: enable personal contact
The importance of direct interaction during home office hours is also confirmed by the results of Xing's latest survey: around 70 percent of respondents said that personal contact within the company is important for corporate culture to emerge and be felt. This March, 1,176 active Xing members took part in the survey, 348 of them in Germany, 424 in Austria and 404 in Switzerland. Corporate culture needs an office, a physical place for interaction, creative togetherness, and more,Sabrina Zeplin, Managing Director of Xing, deduces from the study results, and thus also advocates hybrid work models.
Corporate culture has changed for every second employee
As far as the corporate culture of their company is concerned, slightly more than half of the respondents (54 percent) are currently very or somewhat satisfied. However, almost one in two (49 percent) state that the culture has changed since the beginning of the crisis - for 29 percent to the negative and for 20 percent, i.e. slightly less, to the positive. Above all, employees miss shared activities, including virtual ones, which apparently also come up short. They also feel greater pressure to perform and increased psychological stress, and they receive less praise and appreciation for their work than before. It is not surprising that those respondents who believe that the corporate culture has changed for the better experienced precisely this appreciation during the crisis, and that their relationship of trust with their superiors has also improved. Another criterion that is particularly important to the respondents is the collegial interaction with each other.
Still need for action by employers
Xing members were also asked whether they would like to see a culture manager or "feelgood manager" in the company who would actively shape the corporate culture. 60 percent answered in the affirmative. Whether they have a feelgood manager or not, employees obviously need more cohesion and the feeling that their employer cares about them and offers them opportunities to exchange ideas with colleagues, especially in times of crisis and when they are working from home. Overall, the results of the two studies suggest that employers still need to take action here.