One in five want to work from home full time

A study shows how the pandemic is changing preferences about work and housing .

"Home office"
"Home office"Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva/dpa

Berlin - The corona pandemic has radically changed German preferences when it comes to housing and work. More than half of working Germans (53 per cent) work at least partly from home - 21 per cent five days a week. According to a survey by property site Immowelt, most would like it to stay that way even after corona-related restrictions have been lifted: 85 per cent of those who work from home say they want to continue doing so in future. The study surveyed 18,000 people in May 2021.

Many said that working from home improved their work-life balance: people save valuable time by not having to commute to work; they can spread their work more flexibly over the day and better reconcile family and career. Despite these benefits, most Germans don't wish to work full time from home, with most preferring a hybrid of heading in to the office and staying at home. Some 23 per cent of employees who currently work from home favour three days in the "home office". 

Personal contacts irreplaceable for many

Another 21 per cent say they would like to work from home two days per week. While online meetings don't seem to have completely replaced personal contact with colleagues, most people don't want to completely forego the advantages of working from home. Only 15 per cent want to go back to the office full time, while 20 per cent said they wanted to stay at home five days a week.

Working at home has changed people's living preferences. More space might be needed, for example. According to Immowelt, proximity to nature and private gardens have become more important. Hence, 19 per cent of workers in cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants who would like to work from home in the future are planning to move out of the city in the next 12 months.

Out to the 'burbs

For almost half of the people who want to work from home (44 per cent), the desire to move away from the city was only reinforced by the corona pandemic. However, many don't want to move too far out: 40 per cent want to move to a smaller town, 30 per cent to the suburbs.

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