The ongoing pandemic has meant a large part of the workforce now working from home. By now, most employees have absorbed and assimilated the challenges posed by this innovative form of working, with the result that this new situation has largely normalized. A research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO is investigating the impact of these changes. Together with partners from the Office 21 joint research project, they are looking at what role working from home might play in the future. For this purpose, the team is currently conducting a survey designed to generate the data required to answer the key research questions.
Survey to shed light on key questions about the future world of work
The survey on office workers currently working from home has a twin focus. On the one hand, it investigates the workplace at home, looking at the kind of equipment available and the kind of technology being used by employees working from home. Issues here whether the type of workplace can impact job success, and the importance of a good corporate and management culture for successful working practices. In addition, the survey also examines the impact that working from home has on questions of a more structural nature. For example, which office workers are most ready to return to the desk after the experience of working from home? And what are the factors that might motivate them to return to the office? This also raises the question as to the requirements of a future office environment.
This survey feeds into a generalized study that seeks to tease out the kind of structural interdependencies that persist beyond the current situation. Fraunhofer IAO will amalgamate the results of this study with those of the first working-from-home study, conducted last year. By creating a time series and thereby filtering out short-term from long-term influencing factors, researchers will be able to generate more-meaningful results. At the same time, the current survey covers new topics and ideas that focus not only on the new work situation but also on the office as the place where the development of a new workplace culture might begin.
Direct feedback following completion of the survey
All employees who are currently working at least partially from home can participate in the 10-minute survey. Following completion of the survey, respondents are provided with personal feedback on their responses compared to those of other survey respondents.
All answers remain anonymous and confidential.