Zoom and hold: working from home is here to stay, researchers find

A mother working from home on her laptop with her young child sitting on the table beside her.
Photo: Depositphotos
A mother working from home on her laptop with her young child sitting on the table beside her.
Working from home is here to stay. Photo: depositphotos

More home working and meetings by video link are likely to be trends that outlast the coronavirus pandemic, researchers say.

The proportion of people working from home has dipped to less than half since the lockdown restrictions were eased at the beginning of May, but 45% of people said they were doing more work from home than before the crisis.

The mobility research institution KiM interviewed a representative sample of people in the Netherlands at the end of March and again at the beginning of July to track the trend.

It found that people in general felt more positively about working from home and video conferencing. Around 60% in the second survey said they expected to have more online meetings in the future, compared to 35% in March, while 55% said they felt video calls were just as productive as meetings in the office.

Home workers did cite a number of disadvantages, mainly concerning their health. Around 36% had problems establishing a good work-life balance while 17% experienced physical problems. Just under one in 10 reported struggling with their mental health.

The lockdown has also had an impact on people’s travel habits, with 28% of people who used public transport saying they expect to use it less frequently. Holiday plans were also curtailed, with 57% saying they planned to stay in the Netherlands this summer while just 3% were planning a trip out of Europe.

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