Study: Working from home is the new normal for many

Extroverts are more likely to suffer

Around a third to half of those surveyed worked partially or exclusively from home during the survey period. “For many, working from home has become a new normal during the pandemic,” says Zacher. However, a larger proportion of those surveyed could not work at home because they worked in systemically relevant jobs or in critical infrastructure. Those who were in the home office gained different experiences with this new type of employment.

According to Zacher, who gets along with it and how well also depends on the respective personality. While more extroverted people had more problems with working, including video conferences, in their own four walls than introverted people, conscientious people coped well with the changed work situation because they approached the tasks in a more structured way.

humanization of the working world

In general, Zacher and his colleagues found that employees were better off if they took action, approached their superiors actively and discussed solutions to their problems openly with them. Many bosses and most employees gained experience with mobile working for the first time as a result of the pandemic. As a result, the learning curve with this type of employment has gone up steeply on both sides, according to Zacher.

In addition to the loneliness that many of those surveyed complained about, the Corona crisis also had a positive impact on working life. “It contributes to the humanisation of the world of work. In the future, work must be designed more to meet human needs for autonomy, the experience of competence and social integration,” Zacher is convinced.

Well designed work

In the USA there is currently a wave of layoffs because many employees no longer want to work as before, for example in noisy open-plan offices, and are leaving companies that do not respond to the needs of their employees.

“That could also spill over to us. The pandemic has highlighted how important well-designed work is,” says the expert. In Germany, too, more and more employees are attaching increasing importance to flexibility, meaningful and challenging work tasks and support from colleagues and superiors – topics that could become more important in the future than the amount of pay.

Mental health

The topic of mental health has also gotten a little more out of the taboo zone as a result of the pandemic. If the work is well designed, the sick leave periods of the employees also become shorter. According to Zacher, when the chemistry with the colleagues is right and they are proud of their work, they come back to work more motivated and more likely.

Once a month between December 2019 and January 2022, the researchers surveyed around 1,000 employees of various ages and occupations from all federal states about their physical and mental health, their job satisfaction, their strategies for coping with the pandemic, and later also about their willingness to be vaccinated and pandemic fatigue. The study is scheduled to continue for six more months until mid-2022. (jk)

Leave a Comment