Not going to the office for work, which became commonplace during the coronavirus crisis, has become a permanent phenomenon, statistics by telecom operator Elisa Estonia show.
While before the COVID pandemic, 62 percent of all employees went to the office on a weekly basis, this ratio has now decreased to about 25 percent across all employees and teams.
“The office has become the place to go when you need to meet someone or collaborate with a whole team. It’s no longer a place you go just because that’s the way it’s always been done. Rather, it has changed from being people’s main place of work to something that offers a nice change from the home office — just as the home office used to offer a change from the office,” said Elisa Estonia CEO Andrus Hiiepuu.
According to Elisa, there is no clear upward trend in in-person office attendance. Hiiepuu noted that although there was a widespread belief at the beginning of the home office boom that the former work culture will return once the situation has returned to normal, the data garnered by Elisa does not support this. In the early days of the health crisis, office attendance dropped to practically zero. At the beginning of 2022, an average of 18 percent of Elisa’s employees showed up to their desks at the office; today the number of those regularly working at the office on a weekly basis has stabilized at between 20 and 25 percent.
According to statistics for autumn 2023, employees mainly went to the office on Mondays and Wednesdays, when 27 percent of the workforce could be found at their desks. The ratio was lowest on Friday, when only a fifth of employees went to the office per month. There was only one day throughout the month when the number of people present at the office exceeded 30 percent of the workforce, while there were also days when less than 18 percent of employees worked from office at least for some time.
“Office attendance has declined massively compared with the time before the coronavirus crisis, but people’s productivity and performance have not declined one bit. This clearly shows that with the right work organization, people can achieve the best results regardless of where they are physically located,” said Kaija Teemagi, HR manager at Elisa Estonia.
As a side effect of reduced office attendance, people’s ability to manage their own time and work arrangements has increased significantly.
“This is also the reason why more and more companies are implementing at least partially a four-day work week. The courage and the will to give people more responsibility in managing their work has emerged. And it really works,” Teemagi added.
Elisa Eesti AS, the mobile communications market leader in Estonia, is a company of the Elisa Group of Finland.
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