CORONAVIRUS/7 in 10 companies prefer having employees in the office: Survey

01/26/2022 05:34 PM
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CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only
CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, Jan. 26 (CNA) The COVID-19 pandemic has led to more people working from home in Taiwan, but more than 70 percent of companies want all their employees back in the office, according to a survey by the 104 online job bank.

The survey found that 71 percent of enterprises preferred that all their employees to be in the office, while 29 percent preferred a hybrid work schedule that combined on-site and remote models, and only 0.3 percent backed only work-from-home arrangements.

Most employers who opted for the hybrid model wanted to see a schedule where employees spend three days a week in the office and two days at home, according to the survey.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of office workers who participated in the survey, however, preferred the hybrid approach, while 30 percent wanted to work in the office, and only 5 percent wanted to work exclusively from home.

The online poll, conducted by the 104 online job bank from December 2021 to January 2022 among enterprises and office workers to gather their opinions on working from home, collected 3,419 valid questionnaires from enterprises and 3,390 from job bank members.

The margin of error was plus or minus 2.5-3.5 percentage points for the employer poll and plus or minus 2.4-2.9 percentage points for the employee poll.

Based on the results, a second poll conducted afterwards found that 81 percent of enterprises would not change their current work models even if their employees preferred working at home some of the time, while 72 percent of employees wanted to maintain the status quo.

That meant that while office workers wanted to be at home some of the time, they were willing to work in the office if it was not feasible for their employers to adopt a work-from-home model, said Weber Chung (鍾文雄), chief human resources officer at the online job bank.

After Taiwan raised the COVID-19 alert to Level 3 on May 19, 2021, following a surge in domestically transmitted cases, 58.1 percent of enterprises did put in work-from-home programs, the job bank said citing a survey released in June 2021.

In that same survey, 37.7 percent of office workers said they had done some work remotely.

About 5 percent of enterprises and office workers were still operating remotely before Taiwan recorded its first two locally transmitted cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in late December 2021, the job bank said.

The rate of remote work among white-collar workers is expected to grow if local COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the job bank said.

The job bank's surveys also reflected different perceptions of how effective employees were when working from home.

Businesses said working remotely led to a net 46 percentage point loss in efficiency and 41 percentage point loss in productivity, while employees felt their efficiency and productivity at home fell by only about 3 percentage points, according to Chung.

In a follow-up poll, 49 percent of enterprises disagreed with the results of the employees' assessment, Chung said.

The employers and employees surveyed did agree, however, that work-from-home programs did have three major advantages -- improving employee satisfaction, attracting crucial talent and saving on the cost of leasing office space, Chung said.

(By Tseng Chih-yi and Evelyn Kao)

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