Working from home offers opportunities in the New Normal
Satisfaction with working from home increases, but a one-size-fits-all will not work. Customization is crucial.
Most employees experience working from home in a positive manner. Since the beginning of the lockdown, there is an increase in satisfaction regarding working from home. This is evident from a recent study by HR Tech scale-up Crunchr and Nationale-Nederlanden. It was reported by 83% of nearly 2,000 respondents that they could work well from home. A month later, we find that this number has increased to 90%. An increase in productivity was identified as well. In addition, we find that customization is crucial.
Working from home may even become the norm in the future. The ‘Coalition Travel Differently’ even issued an appeal for this on the 2nd of June. The HR Tech scale-up Crunchr, together with Nationale Nederlanden, investigated what employers can do to support their employees in working from home as well as in the future.
Experiences of 2,000 employees
The Homework Survey was open from April 3 to May 15, 2020 and was conducted with Crunchr Preference. This smart tool provides insight into employee preferences. Almost 2,000 employees from 75 employers were asked about their experiences. They ranked sixteen different measures related to their homework conditions, such as technical support or regular updates from management. Different patterns with Crunchr Preference described further in this article.
Productivity increases as the home work period continues
Not only employee satisfaction increases, home workers are also becoming increasingly positive about their productivity. In early April, 34% of respondents believed that working from home had a negative impact on their productivity. At the end of this study, this was only 21%. In addition, the attitude that working from home has a negative effect on mental health becomes less strong. During an interim measurement on May 1, 29% still believed that working from home had a negative impact on mental health. At the end of this study, this percentage dropped to 25%. It is striking that, millennials in particular, experience this impact: one in three struggles with mental health through working from home.
Need differs per home worker
When it comes to the role of the employer, an interesting finding is that the need for measures differs greatly per home worker. The level of support is mainly dependent on age and home situation. The main needs per group of employees remain unchanged from the previous measurement. But what are these needs? Millennials miss social interaction. Employees aged 55+ mainly benefit from technical support. Single people find collaboration tools the most important. And home workers with children especially need flexible working hours.
Customization is crucial
How can an employer best offer support? A one-size-fits-all approach results in 48% of satisfaction among the respondents. When an employer uses a tailor-made approach, employees are on average 20% more satisfied with the support at home,. If the employer opts for a group-oriented offer (e.g. four different packages for different groups of employees) this percentage will rise to 68%. Therefore, a differentiated approach ensures more involved, productive and satisfied home workers.
Main conclusions research
Download the main conclusions here.
Other information about the Homeworkers research:
1. What is the current status of the research?
The research has been completed. This initiative was started in early April by HR Tech scale-up Crunchr and Nationale-Nederlanden. Other partners involved are consultancy agency Focus Orange and employers' organization AWVN.
2. What makes the research unique?
This research was designed as a game in which participants had to rank different measures in a so-called ‘Preference Diamond’. They had to make choices about regarding their working from home situation. This approach is different from other studies because of the unique gamified element to improve the quality of the answers. They are forced to make chooses what really helps a individual.
Besides the gamified survey to collect data, the data analyses are also unique. Averages are less mentioned because they often do not indicate much. Many available analyses in Crunchr use artificial intelligence to design group measurements, that in turn lead to a higher return. This is known in Human Resources as Workforce Analytics. Crunchr is the market leader of Workforce Analytics software.
Crunchr is a rapidly growing tech scale-up (2014) that provides companies around the world with insight into personnel and organization based on HR Data Analytics. Crunchr has a team of 30 people and received investment money from Focus Orange, Randstad and Nationale-Nederlanden. Crunchr has won many international awards, such as Gartner (as one of five companies worldwide), was featured in The Economist and is used in education to train a new generation of HR managers.
Nationale-Nederlanden is a financial service provider with more than five million private and business customers in the Netherlands. Every day, their employees are committed to securing the financial future of customers. Nationale-Nederlanden has been active on the Dutch market since the nineteenth century and offers insurance, pensions and banking products. Nationale-Nederlanden is part of NN Group, an international financial services provider that offers products and services in the areas of pensions, insurance, asset management and banking activities to approximately 18 million customers. NN Group N.V. is listed on Euronext Amsterdam (NN).
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