Many companies still asking employees to work from home
After more than a year of working from home, businesses in the Netherlands can now let their employees come into the office for up to half of the work week. But many companies are not yet making full use of this lockdown relaxation, BNR found in a survey of major employers.
Companies are scaling up the amount of time employees can spend in the office, but not yet to 50 percent, BNR found. Achmea is allowing employees to come in for 30 percent of the work week, with the plan to scale up to 50 percent from July 5. Unilever, Aegon, and ABN Amro are increasing their maximum occupancy to 25 percent. ING is allowing 10 percent of its normal occupancy and plans to scale up slowly. Shell also plans to scale up slowly, but couldn't give the broadcaster figures yet.
The companies told BNR that they aren't requiring employees to spend 50 percent of their work week at the office because they want to use the summer to experiment, to see what works and what doesn't. Many offices also don't have the space to maintain the required 1.5 meters of distance between employees.
All the companies BNR spoke to said they don't plan on ever going back to full-time in the office. They want to move towards a hybrid of people working partly at home and partly at the office. Most said that all their employees will eventually be required to spend some of their time in the office.
"Ultimately we want to work towards a distribution in which employees spend at least 40 percent of their working week in the office," Unilever said to BNR.
ABN Amro will also require employees to come in for at least part of their work week. "Now it is still a choice, but in the end it will not remain voluntary. To motivate employees to come to the office, we want to distinguish between types of work so that there is always a reason to come to the office."