Image source: © bnenin for fotolia.com
Working from home has become a part of everyday life for many people. The fact that it also entails challenges was already mentioned in the article “Challenges in the Home Office” thematic. One of these challenges is availability in the home office. how it looks? How does the separation of work and private life work? How is accessibility perceived?
For many people, the current situation means that they (have to) work from home. While for some it may have been normal before, for others it is a completely new situation and experience. Different cans challenges Jump out. Especially attainability and the associated communication with colleagues and superiors can be difficult. That Institute of German Economics (IW) has in his Short report IW 39/2020 “Shaping accessibility: available, busy or absent?” accessibility problem in home office.
It was also about separation or mixing private and professional. If work is also available in private life or if a person is available for work, one is spoken of extended work-related availability. This can lead to conflicts, but also have positive effects if positive developments and experiences from one area are “transferred” to another.
Results of the employee survey
In addition, IW reports some results 2018 IW Employee Survey further shed light on the subject of accessibility in the home office. For this purpose, 2,500 people employed in the private sector were interviewed. Showed that 45.7 percent said the interviewees never work with mobile internet. The remaining employees (54.3 percent or 1,364 people) who said that they work with the mobile Internet at least occasionally, were asked about its availability in their private lives.
On the one hand, it was about expected availabilitythat is, how often colleagues, employers and the like are expected to be available in private life for business outside of working hours. 18.5 percent of respondents stated that this often be the case. However, these individuals would also include on-call or on-call employees. 36.8 percent said it happened sometimes, 30.2 percent rarely, and 14.5 percent never.
On the other hand, it was about actual contacting, that is, how often respondents were actually contacted for business purposes in their private lives. gave 13.6 percent here’s this often be the case. In relation to all employees, this means that 7 percent of employees would be contacted frequently in their private lives for work. 37.8 percent of respondents said it sometimes happens, 35.6 percent say it rarely happens, and 13.1 percent say it never happens.
Not all affected equally
According to IW, extended work-related availability, which is important when it comes to home office availability, does not affect all employees equally. That would too part-time employees less common they are contacted in their private lives for work or less often say they are. In people with managerial responsibility. you would more often indicate that they will be contacted privately regarding business matters.
IW explains this, among other things, by the fact that employees have a managerial function work more often on mobile I would. This would also provide more options and opportunities to blend private and work life. Furthermore, IW claims that attainability these people outside normal working hours more often necessary in order to guarantee the smooth running of the company. They justify this by special and sometimes exclusive responsibility for decisions and release functions.
In order to prevent these processes and the subsequent mixing between private and working life, it is necessary surrogate systems and successful and bright delegation liability if the manager cannot be reached. As the IW employee survey data would also show, it is in larger companies due to higher number of employees easier to implement than in small. Employees who would work in companies with more than 250 employees would thus be contacted less frequently in their private lives than employees in small companies.
the level remains constant
Next, the topic of accessibility in the home office will be further explored by IW using the results of the study Measuring time presented by the Federal Institute for Safety and Health Protection at Work. The results are therefore similar, and the survey of working hours supplements them with a time comparison between 2015 and 2017. In both years there were around 12 percent of the respondents stated often be available for work and in private life. Also, the number of respondents who said they felt that way is expected of them will remain similar and was included in 2017 24 percent (2 percent higher than in 2015). Accordingly, there is no increased mixing between private and work life.
Expectations over actual contact
In both studies it was shown that expected availability employees about actual official contact during private life. In the IW survey 23 percent of respondents who would work on mobile, the expectation of availability overrated. This is different 16 percentwhich is the expectation of attainability underestimate I would.
A possible explanation for this is given by IW, among other things, that professional models such as work readiness or work readiness would result in employees often having to be available in their private lives, even though this availability is not actually used in all cases because the assignment is not necessary.
Moreover, it is the case that availability not always provided by the company or it is required and some employees can be approached in their free time for their own motivation or reasons.
Some employees could also take advantage of extended availability willingness to perform signal want. This could be motivated by the fear of not having good career opportunities otherwise. To reduce it, one must Corporate Culture be established based on the fact that no presence checks are necessary for mutual trust.
The issue of accessibility in the home office is therefore a complex issue that affects some employees more than others. Among other things, company culture seems to be important for how employees deal with the topic.
Here you will find the short report IW 39/2020:
Other posts you might be interested in: