70% of NL employees want to continue working from home after pandemic

Business

A massive 70 percent of employees who are currently working mostly from home want to continue doing so after the coronavirus crisis is over. 45 percent also want meetings and appointments to continue online, according to a survey trade union CNV did among 3 thousand members, ANP reports.

Despite employees wishes, few employers currently have a policy that facilitates working from home on a structural basis, the union said. CNV is therefore calling on employers to create such policies, and advocating for additional tax benefits for home working resources.

“Many home workplaces are now provisionally a laptop on the kitchen table, a poor office chair, poor posture and mouse arms. Employers are currently lagging behind: hardly anyone is developing a structural working from home policy. It is high time that they started working on it quickly, because working from home is the future,” CNV chairman Piet Fortuin said to the news wire.

According to the union, the insufficient working conditions at home are causing physical complaints among many employees – some 40 percent reported more physical complaints and 44 percent don’t have a workspace that adheres to the responsible working conditions. “If we continue on this path, we run an increased risk of sick leave due to poor home workplaces. Time for employers to come up with a long-term policy on working from home as soon as possible.”

Switching to working from home on a more permanent basis also has a lot of advantages for employers, the union pointed out. There are lower travel costs, less use of expensive office space, less travel time which can translate into more work time, to name a few. “We expect cost savings of 10 to 20 percent due to all these factors,” Fortuin said. “Employers can invest these savings in smart home workplaces.”

The government also needs to come up with a plan for this development, the union added. CNV suggested tax benefits for home offices, and a once-off tax benefit for a home office coach – to examine the home office and create an inventory of what additional resources are needed, and also to advise the employee on their working posture and the like.