Lack of opportunities for further training and few contacts: Working from home damages your career
Getting up later, traffic jams only in front of the bathroom and not on the highway, loose trousers in a video meeting – working from home can offer a number of conveniences. However, it can also have negative sides due to parallel childcare, a difficult work-life balance and technical inadequacies. And it could have a negative impact on your career in the long run. At least a large part fears that on behalf of Sharp Business Systems surveyed office workers in SMEs in Germany.
According to the results of the study, 61 percent of all respondents in Germany expect negative effects on their professional development. Other main concerns are economic stability (32 percent), their own job (37 percent), difficulties with the work-life balance (30 percent) and declining social skills due to isolation (31 percent). For the study, over 1,000 office workers in German SMEs were asked about the possible effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on employees and the development of the world of work.
Still, more than half of employees (53 percent) said working remotely made them more productive. That is a little less than one at the end of 2020 Survey published by the health insurance company DAK. Three quarters of the respondents said that they work more productively at home than in the office. Two thirds are also less easily distracted at home than at their workplace in the office. Three quarters of the regular home office workers surveyed by the DAK manage to maintain their usual daily structure. A quarter also work overtime in the home office.
Of those surveyed by Sharp, 70 percent are satisfied with the technology available. However, half still feel cut off from their team. “That in turn seems to be one of the reasons why 46 percent of those surveyed found it difficult to motivate themselves in the home office.
Almost two thirds (61 percent) also complain that it is more difficult to stay informed about the company’s processes in the home office, “reports Sharp. Obviously, opportunities for professional development and the acquisition of skills that are necessary for one also fell by the wayside Career advancement are required.
Also interesting: What can a home office cost?
“We see the increasing trend that employees are left to their own devices in the current situation,” confirms Viola Kraus, organizational psychologist at the German Society for Career Advice (DGfK), the results. “This is a problem especially for younger employees, as important professional skills cannot be developed adequately without the appropriate interaction in the team.”
A recent survey by Degreed, a provider of a training platform in the professional environment, came to similar results. There, 60 percent of those surveyed worldwide from the ICT industry said that their employer had reduced further training and retraining opportunities compared to the level before the pandemic. This value is higher than that of all other industries.
In the Sharp survey, 58 percent of respondents across all industries said that continuing education and training opportunities have become more important to them during the pandemic. 39 percent expressly want their employer to provide online training or cross-company, virtual workshops so that they can continue to acquire new knowledge and additional skills.
“The noticeable fears of employees regarding their professional development during the pandemic are very likely to be attributed to the distance to their teams and the lack of guidance from experienced colleagues,” analyzes organizational psychologist Kraus. In their view, it is therefore important that employers use the technologies available and provide interactive, virtual training opportunities and platforms on which peer-to-peer learning is promoted.
More on the subject: How to increase home office performance
Kraus continues: “In successful companies, every single employee counts. The more the way people work together, the more fundamental it is to actively involve everyone and promote continuous communication.”
Not the DAK, but both Sharp and Degreed naturally have a certain individual interest in ensuring that employers continue to offer further training or obtain appropriate technology despite the pandemic. One by Professor Stefan Süß from the Chair of Business Administration at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf Study presented in early summer 2020 is more independent there.
“How individual employees feel about working from home depends largely on their private situation, for example the age of the employees, their duties to look after children and their perceived social isolation through the home office,” explained Professor Suess. According to a study carried out under his direction at the time, the perceived conflict between work and private life has the greatest impact on whether or not children need to be looked after. In the study by the University of Düsseldorf, employees reported an average self-perceived decrease in productivity of around ten percent.
Reading tip: New Corona occupational health and safety regulation enable home office
According to the Düsseldorf study, older employees tend to cope better with the home office situation – as the Sharp survey also shows. By the way, people who are particularly technology-savvy or who have managerial responsibilities rate their productivity higher.
According to Professor Süß, this is “either due to a greater degree of self-exploitation in this group or to the fact that the home office means that meetings and social contacts are no longer a problem that managers would otherwise stress.” The Düsseldorf scientist only touches on the career aspect indirectly. But he points out that estimates mean that only around 40 percent of all activities can generally be represented from the home office and warns that “you have to avoid a two-tier society in companies in which the more highly qualified and higher earners work in the home office and others do not.”