Staying at home 'for good'? Comparing and evaluating work from home approaches of German mid-sized companies during a pandemic

Supervision

Description

As the COVID-19-pandemic has posed changes in daily routines and ways of working, many
companies have moved to working from home in an attempt to slow the virus. The large-scale
implementation of work from home (WFH) offered a unique opportunity for researchers to
investigate companies' approaches to deal with the associated challenges. Therefore, t his
research examines and describes the approaches taken by some German mid-sized technology
companies to implement work from home (WFH) in COVID-19 times.
The research evaluation includes three main sections: 1) general company approaches, online
communication methods, and project management methods; 2) employee approaches and
perception; 3) demographic effects, including some possible obstacles encountered when
adopting WFH. Data was collected using an online survey, which was designed with a total of
27 questions based on the three sections. The sample includes answers of 20 employees from
18 different companies within the defined sample population. A variety of variables describing
the work from home approaches are collected. The findings are visualized and some
correlations between variables are explored. Note that this research is deemed to have a
descriptive nature.
It was found that a large majority of companies (90%) allowed some hours/days of WFH before
the COVID-19-pandemic, out of which 25% always allowed employees to work from home. Most
employees had positive feelings about communication within their company. These feelings
were found to be positively related to encouragement of non-work-related exchange (small talk).
Moreover, the most popular communication tools among companies, including the percentage
usage per company, were e-mail (85%), telephone (75%), and Microsoft Teams (70%).
However, It was found that the majority of companies sampled did not use dedicated project
management tools to track WFH.
Within employee perceptions it was found that the majority of employees (70%) perceived
themself as more productive. Similarly, a slight majority (55%) of employees found work more
satisfying when working from home compared to working at the office. These findings provided
some insights for the future of WFH, for which it was found that most employees within the
sample (70%) would like to continue working more from home. Additionally, a little more than
half of employees (55%) expect to work more from home in the future. Analyzing the data, no
significant demographic effects have been observed within the sample used in this work.
This research concludes that work from home (WFH) shows much potential for employees and
companies willing to adopt it, as it has been shown to positively affect many aspects of work.
However, WFH is not universally recommended, as the effectiveness of work from home is
thought to depend on both the type of work as well as employee preferences.
Period01/10/202021/01/2021
Target groupBachelor
ECTS credits10 ECTS