Home office is here to stay according to a new survey

Nearly 50% of respondents find hybrid work more efficient than office-only work

Three out of four people working with a computer consider a type of hybrid work ideal, concluded a survey conducted by Telenor in September. Partial home office is expected to remain an option for a large number of positions and online job interviews and job fairs are also likely to become common practice.

Slightly more than one in three respondents (36%) work from home at least one day a week, and their majority (61%) work from home more than before the pandemic. 30% went to work in the office regularly during the pandemic and will continue to do so, while 34% used to work from home in the past year but have returned to the office by now. The majority of those working with a computer (77%) consider a type of hybrid work ideal. Most of them (50% of respondents) would prefer to stay 2 or 3 days a week both in the office and at home. Telenor conducted its survey on an 840-strong sample of Hungarian internet users aged 18 to 65 aiming to explore the workplace and employer preferences, and job search experience of respondents working with a computer (66%).
“Home office was an option for Telenor employees before but at the beginning of the pandemic we made a brave decision to shift to a full home office regime among the first companies”, said Judit Endrei-Kiss, Chief HR Officer of Telenor Hungary. “With the pandemic nearing its end, home office seems to stay with us as part of a hybrid way of working. Personal collaboration is important and flexibility is also increasingly demanded by employees. As a result, our colleagues now work 3 days in the office and 2 days from home as a rule.”

Not black and white: the benefits and drawbacks of hybrid work

Respondents consider flexible time management and shorter travel time the key benefits of hybrid work. Another important aspect is that hybrid work enables a better work-life balance – although female and male respondents tend to agree with this statement to a different degree (64% and 53%, respectively). Ensuring an optimum work-life balance is one of the most important expectations towards an employer, after a competitive salary and honest communication. 41% consider hybrid work to be also more efficient than office-only work. Home office is increasingly a general demand for specific job roles. According to NRC’s survey, nearly 50% of those currently working from home would consider quitting if the home office option was cancelled by their employer, while two out of three people claim that the availability of home office is going to be an important requirement when looking for a new job in the future.

Respondents consider less teamwork and lack of community (49%) to be the biggest drawbacks of home office, followed by the difficulty to contact colleagues (29%). This is also a hot issue for corporate HR departments as managers often find it a challenge to lead a team remotely.

Hybrid job search is also here to stay

Labour market experience is also supported by research results. Although those working with a computer were also affected by the pandemic, this segment was not hit by mass unemployment. Only a small portion of respondents are looking for a job now (13%) or did so over the past one year (15%). Employees pursued a wait and see policy and clung on to their old jobs for safety reasons and companies also advertised less positions. These “hibernated” positions are currently being published which means that job seekers now have more opportunities to choose from and have better chances to find a new job.

In general, job seekers have overcome the challenges of online job interviews easily. Most of them didn’t face any technical difficulty. About 50% of the sample welcome online job fairs and would attend (or already attended) such events. As a result, experts can also expect job search, job fairs and interviews to partly move to the internet in the long run. One such event will be the Job4Me Virtual Job Fair to be held on 20 and 21 October whose participants can meet Hungary’s largest employers (including Telenor), browse jobs, build a virtual profile, chat, join video interviews and attend exhibitors’ webinars in the online space. Interested job seekers are invited to register here.