In March 2020 life as we know it changed abruptly and indefinitely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. From one day to the next people were expected to work from home, while not everyone was equally equipped to do so in a safe and healthy manner. My name is Nadia Hattingh, a fouth year International Facility Management student and during a period of four months I did research on the topic of working from home. More specifically, how organisations can best facilitate employees working from home during and after COVID-19.
A questionnaire was shared amongst a population of 647 employees. The questionnaire received 244 responses, that is a response rate of 37.7%. This is a reliable sample size with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 5%. For qualitative data collection interviews were conducted. The interviewees consisted out of six employees, two managers, one expert in the field of wellbeing at work and a facility coordinator at ENECO, the second largest energy provider in the Netherlands.
Results show that 90% of employees want to continue working from home after COVID-19. Having the flexibility to decide when they work from home was one of the most important wishes employees had for a post-COVID situation. Creating a healthy work-life balance has proven difficult, time not spent commuting is used to work longer hours. A large percentage of employees’ have experienced a decline in mental and physical health. The main reason for the decline in mental health is the lack of social interaction. In the past year, the way people work has changed drastically. However, it is too soon to say with certainty which changes will remain in the future. Future trends include; hybrid working, people looking for team-work solutions closer to home with the use of community hubs and using the office as a meeting place.
Currently, measures regarding COVID-19 are subject to change on a weekly basis, such as the degree of lockdown and maximum office occupation rates. It is uncertain how long the current situation will last and what the effects on the results are if measures are lifted. Attention should go to focussing on employees’ mental health, supporting them in creating a good work-life balance and doing more to enhance social contacts and quality time at work.
Do you want to know more about this research? Please contact Saskia Mars of via t: +316 460 45 193.
NADIA Hattingh – International Facility Management, Hanzehogeschool Groningen
At the start of the corona crisis, from one day to the next, people were expected to work from home. However, not everyone might be equally equipped with a healthy and productive home office. Therefore, it is important to look into the experiences and needs of employees, seeing that hybrid working is here to stay.
My name is Nadia Hattingh, I am a fourth year International Facility Management student and I have been given the opportunity to do my graduation assignment through bureau NoorderRuimte / Healthy Workplace. I will be conducting research for an energy company in the north of the Netherlands, on how they can best facilitate employees working from home.