After the end of the obligation to work from home in June, the number of employees who are back to work in the office has increased further. In July, according to a new estimate by the Munich Ifo Institute, only a quarter of employees (25.5 percent) worked at least temporarily at home, a continuation of the downward trend of recent months. In June it was 28.4 percent, in March it was almost a third.
The reason given by Jean-Victor Alipour, home office expert at the Ifo Institute, is the desire of many employees to have more direct encounters with their colleagues. “People are increasingly looking for personal contact in the office again,” says Alipour. He expects that hybrid working models in particular will prevail in the future. Many employees would work two days in the home office and three days in the office – or vice versa.
Decline also in the service sector
The proportion of employees who work at least partially in the home office is still highest in the service occupations at a good 35 percent. In March the rate was just under 43 percent. In the case of television and radio stations, a particularly large number of employees returned to the office. After 60.9 percent in June, only 36.9 percent were at least partially in the home office in July. The value also fell significantly in the publishing industry. In July it was 40.3 percent, after 50.4 percent in the previous month.
In the manufacturing sector, the proportion of employees working from home fell to 18 percent, after just under 21 percent in June. The decline was particularly noticeable among beverage manufacturers (July: 5.3 percent, previously 13.7) and in the chemical industry (July: 18.2 percent, previously 25.3). In the auto industry, the largest branch with 800,000 employees, the rate fell to 26 percent. In mechanical engineering, which is also labor-intensive, the number of homeworkers fell to 22.5 percent.
Fewer and fewer people are working from home in the wholesale and construction sectors. In contrast, the home office quota in research and development as well as in the clothing industry rose slightly in July. In the pharmaceutical industry, too, the proportion of employees working from home is still above average at just under 36 percent.