More Dutch returning to office, roads busier
The number of people working from home in the Netherlands has decreased in May, figures from public health agency RIVM showed. At the same time, Dutch roads are also getting increasingly busy during the normal morning rush hours, broadcaster NOS reported.
People in the Netherlands were advised to continue "working from home unless there’s no other option" during the most recent government press conference. Whereas 73 percent of people adhered to that in January, the percentage dropped to 66 percent in mid-May.
Moreover, Dutch motor club ANWB has again started noticing traffic jams at points where they commonly occurred before. The fact that more people are gradually returning to their workplaces is also apparent from data released by research agency DAT.mobility.
"The fact that it’s getting busier in the morning gives me the impression that this is due to commuting. We don't get in the car at seven in the morning to take a ride to the Efteling," said ANWB traffic specialist Arnoud Broekhuis.
Large companies such as ABN Amro or ING said they made exceptions for their employees who are unable to work from home. "Some people live at home with roommates or children. Then you can't have confidential calls," said a spokesperson for ABN Amro. Similarly, ING only required employees whose presence is necessary to return to the office.
According to the chair of entrepreneurs organization MKB, Jacco Vonhof, 35% of people can do their job equally well from home. "I think those people do it neatly. I think everyone is having more and more trouble staying home at the moment. But we say: if you can do it, please stay at home."
"That advice from the government is there for a reason," he concluded.
"I think it's something between an employee and a company itself," said Ineke Kooistra, CEO of Young Capital agency. "I can imagine that if you work in a company where it’s 23 degrees celsius everywhere, it is complicated to work upstairs. Then it's smarter to spread out. But we've noticed in recent months that it's good to meet up and do the work in the office."