COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we work around the world. A study carried out on behalf of the Skanska office development division in the CEE shows that from the total number of people interviewed, in March 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, 39% of them went to the office every day. Currently, their percentage has increased to 49%. In Romania, the percentages progressed from 38% in March 2020 to 51% today.

The lack of a clear separation between work and home is seen as the biggest disadvantage of working from home (more than 40% of respondents say this). Limited social life and monotony are other disadvantages when working from home. One in four people complains about the high costs of maintaining their home, and also about the lack of equipment and infrastructure available at the office. About 1/3 of respondents say they lack the possibility to work from the office. In Romania, this desire is even bigger, almost half of the Romanians in the study said that they feel the need to work from the office. Also, people who work in team believe that working from home is less efficient, and the lack of “face-to-face” discussions is mentioned much more often as a disadvantage (37% from the Romanian respondents). People with young children are more likely to complain too about the limitations of working from home compared with the possibilities offered in an office space.

Over 50% of all respondents in Romania go to the office every day

In Romania, the percentage of people who worked from home in the first wave of the pandemic has decreased significantly in the last period, and the number of people who go to the office every day has reached 51%. The mental comfort of office work is highly appreciated by CEE employees who have children (almost 1/3 from the total of 19%) but also by people who have to share a room at home with their children (45% from the total of 19%). According to the study, 57% of respondents indicate that safety certificates, such as the WELL Health-Safety Rating have a positive impact on their sense of security in the office, and in Romania, this percentage is even higher, reaching 64%.

“People are the most important asset of a company, and for us, their safety and well-being have always been a priority. The opportunity to go to the office, to work in a team, to communicate, to be with their colleagues, is a valuable part of daily life, allowing employees to maintain their effectiveness, creativity and mental comfort. The sense of belonging and human relationships are altered in the online environment. It is very important for us that employees who return to the office feel safe from the first moment they walk through the access doors in the buildings until the end of the program, which is why we have implemented all the security measures since the beginning of the pandemic and until now.”says Anne-Marie Diaconu, Leasing & Asset Management Director at Skanska commercial development business unit in Romania.

The study focuses on four countries in Central and Eastern Europe – Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary. Its main aim was to analyze the current situation concerning work models on the labor market in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses were collected from 1,200 office workers in four countries – Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary.