Remote working, far from causing issues, has increased employee satisfaction and motivation in Estonia, employers say, with 68 percent of them planning to continue with the set-up even amid falling coronavirus, and rising vaccination, rates, according to one survey.
Twenty-four percent said most likely they would not continue using teleworking post-pandemic, in a survey compiled by the Salary Information Agency and job portal CVKeskus.ee.
Henry Auväärt, marketing chief at CVKeskus.ee, said that despite these advantages of remote working online: "On the other hand, flexible work organization has hampered the flow of information and cooperation in organizations."
Additionally, Kadri Seeder, head of the Salary Information Agency, added that assessing the efficacy of some of these issues could run into privacy issue.
She said: "It is quite difficult for an employer to assess the work environment at home without infringing on the employee's privacy,"
"It is certainly important that employees know and also follow the rules of occupational safety, but in a home environment, the responsibility could be shared between the employer and the employee. In the case of teleworking, it would be sensible to give employees greater independence and responsibility in organizing their working time and place, which is unfortunately not possible with the current work relations framework," Seeder continued, according to BNS.
Forty-seven percent of employers surveyed said that when working from home, the responsibility for the safety of the work environment ought to be shared between the employer and the employee, while 46 percent thought that it should be the employee's responsibility.
Teleworking was an organic part of work organization in only 21 percent of organizations, prior to the pandemic, while 76 percent offered the option nowadays.
Prior to the pandemic 39 percent of organizations polled said they did not employ remote working at all, while 38 percent said they did so only in exceptional cases.
Conversely, at present, 13 percent of respondents said they only allowed employees to work in-office only in exceptional cases, while 4 percent had closed their offices completely, while in some cases dispersal was ensured by staggering staff attendance via shifts.
Despite this, only four percent of organizations said they plan to downsize their office space this year.
Henry Auväärt added that organizations which had previously employed remote working, perhaps unsurprisingly, adapted better to the more mandatory requirement once the pandemic had begun.
As to health risk assessment, over 60 percent said they had not conducted any such work, while only 16 percent said they had done so thoroughly, while around half said they did not conduct any type of clocking-on and clocking-off mechanism.
The survey covered nearly 470 organizations employing a total of around 50,000 people, through April and May.
Editor: Andrew Whyte