The US-based law firm, Littler, has released its fifth annual European Employer Survey Report, based on responses by nearly 700 human resources executives, in-house lawyers and business leaders based mainly across Western and Southern Europe.
According to the report, the evolving world of work “creates a host of novel issues for European employers – among the most pressing of which may be determining how far they can go in requiring in-person work.” This survey finds employers pulled in different directions as their desire to increase in-person work may conflict with the flexibility needed to attract and retain talent.
When asked about current requirements for employee work schedules, 30% said employees are working fully in person and 27% said employees are on hybrid schedules, with more days in person than remote. That’s compared with only 11% who said employees are on hybrid schedules working more days remotely than in person, and just 5% who said their employees are working fully remotely.
Irish employees’ rights to request remote working are set to be strengthened following a review of new draft laws by Tánaiste (deputy prime minister). According to the Irish Independent “key elements of the upcoming legislation on working from home, drawn up earlier this year, are now being overhauled.” Employers may be given fewer grounds to turn down applications for home working. Additionally, a worker’s right to appeal the decision to the Workplace Relations Commission is also likely to be strengthened.
The Financial Times reports that office workers “across the world’s biggest economies have not resumed their pre-pandemic commuting, instead embracing hybrid working as the new normal, according to commuting data” compiled by Google.
By mid-October trips to workplaces in the world’s seven largest economies were still well below their levels before the coronavirus took hold in early 2020. In Japan, footfall was 7% below pre-pandemic levels while in the UK it was down 24%. Across major advanced economies office trips are more popular on the middle days of the week, while Monday and Friday tend to show large drops in attendance.
Cities that host financial and business districts had a larger loss of office footfall than other major population areas, according to the Google figures.
Also in the Financial Times, Rana Foroohar warns that intrusive surveillance of remote workers causes stress and resentment, “and isn’t that effective anyway.” She advises that ‘Big Brother’ managers should turn the lens on themselves.