Employer Branding with Home Office: Confidence work as a PR topic?


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Many Company complain about a shortage of skilled workers. Flexible working hours, trust-free working hours, such as those introduced by companies from Microsoft to Coca-Cola, are designed to make employers more interesting. But the topic of home office has long been a big PR topic.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Home Office - PR against a shortage of skilled workers

Working from home has many advantages: Home Office allows employees flexible time management, they can save time and quality of life. Thanks to less commuter traffic, CO? Consumption is reduced and the environment is protected. Company in turn, benefit from happier and more productive employees.

Companies are also increasingly discovering the topic for themselves. Unfortunately, there are often austerity measures or PR interests behind it. But even as a tool against skills shortage, the home office increasingly popular.

Show-Mom dismantles hip tech startup

When Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer announced in an internal memo that her coworkers are no longer allowed to work in the home office, a storm of indignation broke out. Because Mayer had already broken two taboos: She spoke out as a newly minted mother against family-friendly working conditions.

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And it dismantled a bit the hip start-up image of American IT companies, which are pioneering the transition to a more flexible work culture.

Home Office as a recruiting topic

So it's no wonder that the topic is also important in recruiting: studies such as the “Recruiting Trends” and “Application Practice”, which are carried out annually by the Center of Human Resources Information Systems (CHRIS) at the Universities of Bamberg and Frankfurt together with the Monster career portal, show again and again:

Of the respondents 1000 companies, 83,8 percent consider flexible working time models to be an important measure against the shortage of skilled workers, while at the same time 10 percent respondents surveyed by 000 85,9 rate the home office positively. Flexibility as a basic need of Generation Y

Flexible work as a normal case?

At Coca-Cola Germany, flexible working has been the norm since 2012: “We have dealt with studies and the needs of Generation Y,” explains HR Director Nadine Ziese. There were already rules for family-friendly work before, but less flexible: “All employees can now decide for themselves when and where they want to work, provided that the company's priorities allow it. The recording of working hours is voluntary. That strengthens personal responsibility, ”she is convinced.

But there are restrictions, as Ziese explains: “Working from home is not the right thing for everyone: Working in a company also includes personal exchange with one another, for example. You have to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a task can be done at home or whether arrangements require being in the office. "

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SMEs are having a hard time with the topic

Much more difficult than large corporations are medium-sized companies with the topic, as Steffen Schoch, Managing Director of the North Black Forest Economic Development Agency, states: "Very few have home office regulations, or if they do, they do not comment on them," says Schoch and adds:

"Especially in owner-managed companies there is a special level of trust between boss and employees, which, according to the fear, could suffer from the physical distance." According to Schoch, flexible, family-friendly working hours could be an enormous competitive advantage for employers who want to be attractive to young talents, especially in rural regions. "But many companies have not yet realized that they can benefit from it."

Flexible working hours required by young employees

Securing skilled workers was also the decisive argument for medium-sized Hansgrohe when it came to making working hours more flexible: “Our Schiltach location has different advantages than a large city.

Flexibility of working hours was repeatedly asked by young applicants, but above all by our female employees who are returning from maternity leave, ”explains HR manager Thomas Egenter. That is why there are now contractually agreed teleworking positions and flexible home office solutions in all departments except in production - but only on two days a week.

Not announced in every industry

Not only some companies, but also applicants are skeptical about home office. As the CHRIS study shows, 55,6 percent fear missing information sharing, 28,6 percent decreasing team productivity and 16,5 percent more work.

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And the consulting agency Universum Communications determined after a survey of just under 5000 young working academics: Of the ITlern 39 percent wish flexible working hours, but only 29 percent of the engineers.

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Home Office as a PR tool

The annual Home Office Day in Switzerland shows how much the topic has long since become a PR topic. He wants to show that the home office saves time and CO2 emissions - and thus set an example against presenteeism and for happier employees. More than 40.000 companies, employees and self-employed people participate every year and work at home on the day in question.

But you have to know: Behind the cool idea is a PR campaign - not a social initiative. The idea was initiated by Microsoft and Swisscom in 2010. Some attention is needed. Because unfortunately you have to search a little on the official website of Home Office Day until you find out who is behind it. The fact that various politicians support the idea makes the site look more like an official Swiss event, which it is not at all!

908 days more for work a year

Nevertheless, the numbers are impressive: Both working time and CO2 reduction was added to make a mark. And that's how it came out: 908 days were won due to the absence of commuting times.

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According to the survey, this time is mainly used for work, which contributes to a significant reduction in stress and at the same time increases the quality of life. Extrapolated to one year, the employees who work at home contribute one COO NUMX reduction of a total of 2 tons per week to one home office per week.

Majority is already working in the home office

An online survey on the subject shows that 67,3% of respondents work on average once a week at home. 6,3% use their home office once a month and 3,9% twice a week. 22,5% of respondents have motivated the initiative to work at home for the first time.

69,1% of respondents believe that Home Office has a positive impact on their quality of life, 30,8% has no impact, and only 0,1% believe home office has a negative impact.

Make more sense of time gained for more productivity

The facts and figures also speak for themselves: The time gained due to the lost commuter routes is used by 47,2% of respondents for a more flexible daily schedule, 14,3% for family, friends and general leisure time activities and 3,5% to sleep more.

24,9% estimate that they have more time to work, which leads to a reduction in their stress, and 10,1% said they use the time gained overall for their work.

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