A recent study by Estonian leading job site CVKeskus.ee and the Salary Information Agency revealed that 56 percent of employers will continue to offer remote working possibilities after the end of the emergency situation.
During the coronavirus crisis, 76 percent of Estonian employers offered the possibility to their employees to work remotely and for over half of them, working from home continues.
In total, 23 percent of organizations already provided opportunities to work remotely before the crisis, but during the past months, the majority of employers offered their staff the possibility to work from home. Of these, 29 percent of companies moved all of their employees to telework to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The research indicates that 56 percent of employers plan to continue with more flexible working arrangements during the following months.
Remote working will mostly continue in organizations where teleworking was common already before the crisis. However, the emergency situation has created more opportunities to work outside of the workplace, even in organizations where previously remote working was rare. Nearly every fourth (23 percent) employer without previous teleworking habit, plans to continue with remote working.
"The health of employees is the employers first priority and surely it was the main reason which boosted the number of people working remotely," says Henry Auväärt, marketing manager of CVKeskus.ee.
"From the study, we can see that employers also discovered that more flexibility helps to develop a better employer brand and recruit talented people. Furthermore, employers found that remote working improved the motivation and performance of their employees."
He added: "When employers see such benefits, we have to wonder why remote working is common only among 23 percent of companies. According to the employers, it's due to the habits – just the fact that the company is not used to working in such a way is also the main reason why remote working seems risky to the managers, which is kind of unfortunate."
Kadri Seeder, the head of the Salary Information Agency, said that organizations where teleworking is not common see more risks than opportunities in remote working: "For example, the common fear is that allowing people to work outside the workplace will create tension for some team members due to feelings of injustice, and therefore it will be more difficult to manage people."
The Estonian employers research was held in April and repeated again in June by The Salary Information Agency with cooperation of Estonian leading job site CVKeskus.ee.
Representatives of 698 organizations participated in the spring survey and 589 in the follow-up survey. The research followed changes in basic salaries, the employers' recruitment and redundancy plans, changes in turnover and profit, recovery forecasts, managers' values in decision-making, and the effects of teleworking.
Editor: Helen Wright