Four in 10 employees say working from home is here to stay

Amsterdam's Zuidas financial district. Photo:
Amsterdam’s Zuidas financial district. Photo:

The coronavirus restrictions may be lifted, but four in 10 commuters say they would like to continue to work part of the week at home, according to new research.

In particular, people who travel to work by public transport are more likely to want to spend time working from home, the report, drawn up by research group Newcom, said.

The research, based on the responses of 6,400 adults, shows that 1.9 million people plan to change their way of commuting – and that around 500,000 people would prefer to work at home 100%.

People who commute by train spend longer getting to work on average than those who drive, Newcom director Neil van der Veer said. ‘Train commuters are also more likely to work for the government or the financial sector,’ he said. These, he points out, are both sectors where home working has been encouraged.

The researchers expect the increase in home working will reduce pressure on the railways and will also have an impact on rush hour traffic jams.

Earlier research

Several earlier surveys also show that home working is likely to become the norm for more people. For example, over half of Dutch employers expect working from home will remain part of the job, combined with two or three days at the office, according to a May survey by broadcaster RTL Z.

And almost a third of the pay and conditions agreements currently in effect have clauses about working from home, compared with just 8% in 2020, according to employers organisation AWVN.

Many pay deals now include compensation for home working, based on calculations published by family spending institute Nibud last year. Nibud estimates working from home costs some €2 in electricity, coffee and toilet paper.

The government is also looking into making a working from home allowance tax free.

Trade unions have already made agreements with some employers in the finance and public sectors about home working allowances. For example, national government civil servants who work at home are now eligible for a €363 annual payment.

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