More than a quarter of people who can work from home in the Netherlands are being asked by their employers to come into the office, according to a new investigation by the CNV (National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands).
In the survey of 1,200 members who work from home, 42% of them do go into the office.
“While we are trying hard to fight the virus and the British corona variant comes at us as a threat, a large part of the home workers still often go to the office,” says Piet Fortuin, CNV chairman. “However, working from home is a quick win to beat the virus.”
“We call on everyone to take responsibility for this: employers and employees. Really work from home as much as possible.”
Struggles of working from home
Of the people working from home, 46% are having a harder time this January than they were earlier in the pandemic. “Many workers are quite done with it,” says Fortuin. “Working from home is a lot more pleasant when the spring sun illuminates your attic.”
And lack of sunlight is just one of the complaints people have voiced about working from home during this time. They also indicate additional physical ailments, with 38% of workers suffering from neck, shoulder, and arm complaints.
Further, 45% of home workers are still lacking workplaces that meet occupational health and safety standards.
Children at home
Parents with young children have additional challenges, of course, with the majority (60%) noting they have little time for themselves.
About a quarter (26%) of survey respondents stated that their employer does not consider the fact that they have children at home, and 15% of parents have to take off extra days from work to care for their children.
In fact, absenteeism is at a record high. According to Fortuin, “The absenteeism rate was higher than ever in 2020, if we continue like this we will break that record in 2021.”
Fortuin says psychological and mental complaints are the reason people will be missing work in the future. “Employers are responsible for providing the right resources for optimal working from home. This goes wrong, both mentally and physically, in about half of the cases.”
Calls for a calamity fund
The CNV has called upon the cabinet for a calamity fund for emergency relief. “From here, extra days off are financed to help parents through this period,” explains Fortuin. “We hope that this fund will take effect as soon as possible.”
Can you identify with any of these work-from-home complaints? Or have you been going into the office? Share your experience in the comments below!
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