New research on telework: “Employees miss the momentum of the workplace”

Since the beginning of June, the number of days Belgians have spent working at home has been on average just half of what it was during the lockdown. The figures come from a survey of companies carried out by the HR services firm SD Worx. The companies that took part in the survey registered the number of days that their employees worked from home. 

Despite telework still being “strongly encouraged” the number of days Belgian employees worked from home during the period from June to September was just half of what it was during the March, April and May.

SD Worx’s Isabelle Cornelis told VRT News that "Working from home peaked during the period between the end of March and mid-May. It has remained stable since June”. Ms Cornelis added that employees miss the dynamic of the workplace and that companies need to look for a balance between working from home and working at the office.

The Managing Director of the small business federation UNIZO Danny Van Assche told VRT that we need to put the fall in the number of days people are working from home into perspective.

"People quickly forget that there was a lockdown during the period between March and May”

Then only companies providing essential goods and services were allowed to remain fully open to their staff. Those employed at other companies were obliged to work from home wherever possible.    

From June the economy started up again and many people returned to their offices for at least part of the working week. Since then the amount of days worked from home has remained stable at around half of what it was during the lockdown.

Mr Van Assche added that "I wouldn’t say that there has been a reduction in telework, but rather that people have discovered telework”.  

Both Mr Cornelis and Van Assche points to the measures companies have taken to ensure that their employees can work safely. This has meant that employees feel safe to return to the office.   

With regard to the costs incurred by people working from Mr Van Assche says that it is up to the social partners (companies and unions) to draw up a legal framework. 

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