Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter are some of the companies that are reviewing their teleworking policies.
Grow your business, Not your inbox
Stay up to date and subscribe to our daily newsletter now!
5 min read
This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.
This story originally appeared on Foro Económico Mundial
By David Elliott, Senior Writer, Formatting Content at FEM en Español
Germany will publish a bill to make work from home a legal right, said its labor minister. Strengthening workers' rights and regulating home work are at the heart of the plans. Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter are some of the companies that are reviewing their teleworking policies. The World Economic Forum's Job Restart Summit is exploring how fairer and more sustainable organizations and workplaces can be created as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.
Germany has said it wants to give its citizens the legal right to work from home.
Workers in many parts of the world are much more familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of the remote office today than they were earlier this year. In Germany, around 40% of people wanted to work from home at least temporarily before the pandemic.
And the country has been looking for corporate initiatives since early 2019 so that employees can work from home. Now that the pandemic has given some insight into what is possible, it is trying to make it official. The bill will be published in a few weeks, the country's labor secretary told the Financial Times.
98% of employees want to telework at least part of the volume for the rest of their careers / Image: Buffer / Visual Capitalist
Hubertus Heil said in an interview that the law would give employees the opportunity to work from home if possible.
It is crucial that workers' rights are strengthened and clearer boundaries are set between private and work life.
It is an issue that many people are preoccupied with after months of home work caused by the crisis. Before COVID-19, a survey showed that the world population was even more productive than the German when it came to working from home – 98% said they sometimes wanted to do telework.
However, recent research from IBM has found that employees believe their organizations have coped with the transition to new ways of working, but employees do not always agree. Many feel exhausted and only 46% believe that the organization they work for is doing enough to make them feel good.
There are differences between employees and employers on a number of issues / Image: IBM
Still, as the move from Germany suggests, teleworking seems to play a much bigger role in many people's lives.
Google, Salesforce and Facebook are among the companies that say employees can work from home until at least next summer. Microsoft and Twitter have said that some employees can do this forever. In the US, 69% of financial services companies surveyed by PwC expect that almost two-thirds of their employees will work from home once a week in the future. Before the pandemic, it was 29%.
Despite some companies' concerns about the impact on teamwork and productivity, this could be very profitable in terms of cost savings: Research shows that a typical employer could save about $ 11,000 per year for every person they work remotely half the time .
Apart from the burnout, there also seem to be a lot of employees on board. A survey of U.S. workers found that nearly half wanted to continue working from home after the pandemic and that the move to teleworking had a positive impact on their view of the company.
Fair and sustainable
But there are also concerns. Not everyone can work from home. A study conducted in the United States found that mothers who work at home spend more time on housework and childcare than fathers.
And the President of the German Employers' Association has warned that his country's proposals could encourage companies to outsource jobs abroad to cheaper workers.
However, the German plan is an example of how governments are trying to ensure that the new world of work works for everyone. According to FT, Spain, Greece and Ireland also want to develop new regulations for working from home.
The World Economic Forum's Work Restart Summit examines how we can create more inclusive, fairer and more sustainable organizations and jobs as we emerge from the crisis.
The question is, as the German Hubertus Heil told the FT: "How can we transform technological progress, new business models and increased productivity into progress not just for a few, but for many people?"