Woman working at home. LEHTIKUVA

International news

The majority of German enterprises are confident that the productivity levels of employees working from home match those working from the office. An ifo Institute survey unveiled that 60.1% of companies anticipate consistent productivity when switching from hybrid models to complete in-office work. Only 8.3% forecast a decline in output, while 31.6% expect an uptick in efficiency if employees were solely based in the office.

Mathias Dolls, an ifo researcher, commented on the results, stating, "The positive correlation between remote work and productivity is a key reason for its widespread acceptance across German businesses."

The sentiment remains consistent across various sectors. However, a few industries exhibited a preference for in-office work. In the textile industry, 54.3% anticipate better productivity in an office environment. Similarly, the printing and automotive sectors showed preferences at 48.4% and 43.2%, respectively.

Of those who predict a decline in productivity upon a full return to office spaces, nearly half foresee a potential dip ranging between 5 to 10%. Roughly a third predict a sharper fall between 10 to 20%. This potential decrease is attributed to the flexibility of home-based schedules (68.9%), diminished distractions (64.5%), improved job satisfaction (64%), and a superior work-life equilibrium (59.5%).

Contrarily, firms that predict productivity spikes from in-office operations, 39% estimate gains between 10 to 20%. Slightly lesser companies project a 5 to 10% increase. Enhanced coordination and communication (87%), increased knowledge dissemination (77%), and fewer distractions (53.1%) were listed as primary reasons. Additionally, 51.8% believe that teams are more straightforward to supervise in an office setup.

This insightful study by the ifo Institute encompassed feedback from 9,000 German companies and was conducted in August 2023.