Contrary to what many people would think, remote working has been declining in Germany since 2008.
According to research executed by one of the leading economic research institutions in Germany, the German Institute for Economic Research (Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW), 9.2% of workers sometimes or most of the time worked from home in 2004.
In 2008 this percentage had grown to 9.3%, but in 2011 this had declined to 7.6%.
There are two potential causes of this decline.
The first one – according to Karl Brenke, Labour market and economic expert with DIW – is management. He said: “In German companies many bosses are control freaks and the delusion of presence rules. They want to see their employees sitting behind their desks from 9 till 5.”
A second cause – according to a research conducted by the Centre of Human Resources Information Systems (CHRIS)of the Bamberg and Frankfurt am Main universities – indicates that both companies and employees have difficulties embedding working from home into other forms of work:
- 61.5% of respondents (Germany’s 1,000 largest firms) indicated that working from homes creates new cooperation challenges
- 55.6% of employee respondents (10,000) assumes that working from home will have a negative impact on sharing information with colleagues
- Still, 85.5% of all employees consider working from home an attractive offer
- The willingness is there with the companies: 50% offers working from home possibilities and 41.4% of companies want to offer more options for working from home
Germany’s decline in remote working seems to have stabilised in 2011 and 2012. According to the New Work Order Study, commissioned by the association for the office furniture industry in Germany, bso, companies with a flexible work organisation and strong emphasis on joint work sites invest in an attractive design of their office space.
As we said before: Work is a theatre for cohesion and the office should be worth making the journey.