In employees’ own assessments, their productivity is about the same regardless of whether they are working from home or in the office. Still, not every work location is equally well suited for every task. “Focused individual work, in particular, is much easier to do when working from home, which points to a shortage of opportunities to focus in the office. So this is one area where concrete action is needed,” says Milena Bockstahler, a researcher at Fraunhofer IAO.
However, additional factors are relevant when it comes to good concentration when working from home. Above all, we see a difference in work performance between people who have family members to care for and those who do not have such responsibilities. People with this additional burden are not only less productive, they are also much more likely to work outside of regular working hours.
What will become the new normal?
The role of the office – which was already in flux before the pandemic – has changed even more as a result of the large-scale implementation of working from home, adding completely new needs to the existing demands placed on offices. At the same time, in the wake of the sudden change in the world of work, new needs were identified that added yet more layers to the demands placed on offices. Only when these demands are satisfied will offices be a suitable alternative to working from home. In other words, the ideal conditions for different tasks must be created both at home and in the office, and the respective advantages of these work models mapped out in greater detail.