Working from home has become firmly established in many companies. In 80 percent of companies in the information economy, employees work from home at least once a week, according to a survey by the ZEW economic research institute, which is available to the German Press Agency. In manufacturing, which is more location-based, it is 45 percent. The approximately 1,500 companies surveyed also expect home office use to expand rather than decline in the next two years.

“As the current spread of home office in June 2023 shows, the trend towards hybrid work that started with the pandemic is continuing unabated,” explained ZEW expert Daniel Erdsiek. On average, the proportion of employees who work from home at least once a week is roughly the same as in the past three years.

Before the pandemic, the proportion of companies with home office regulations in the information industry, which includes the information and communication technology industry, media service providers and knowledge-intensive service providers, was 48 percent. In manufacturing it was 24 percent.

“Looking at the next two years, neither the companies in the information industry nor in the manufacturing sector expect a decline in home office offers,” said Erdsiek. On average, both the proportion of companies that want to use home office in 2025 and the proportion of employees who work from home at least once a week are expected to increase.

According to the information, for example, 58 percent of companies in the information industry and 19 percent in the manufacturing sector are planning that in two years more than 20 percent of the employees will – in some cases – work from home. However, the majority of companies (almost 90 percent) that currently do not allow working from home do not plan to offer any such offers in the next two years either.

According to a recently published study by the Ifo Institute, German employees are able to work from home to a particularly large extent in a European comparison. With an average of one day home office per week, Germany comes second among 17 European countries. Before that, only the United Kingdom was in Europe with 1.5 days. Out of a total of 34 countries worldwide, Canada with 1.7, the USA with 1.4 and Australia with 1.3 days per week are ahead of Germany. The average is just under 0.9 days.

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